Skip to main content

Full text of "Isthmus of Darien ship canal : with a full history of the Scotch colony of Darien, several maps, views of the country, and original documents"

See other formats


■ ,i-& 



CUnntFll Interattg SItbrarg 




Millard SFiske 


a.3^(?/1^ trl -^-1 -6 

The date shows when this volume was taken. 

To renew this book copy the call No. and give to 
the librarian. 


•'F'j ■fy"f^' 

All Books subject to Recall 
All borrowers must regis- 
ter in the library to borrow 


All books must be re- 
turned at end of college 
year £or inspection and 

Limits booVs must hp re- 
turned within the four week 
limit ^4. not renewed. 

Students must return all 
books befo^ leaving town. 
Officers should arrange for 
the return of books wanted 
during their absence from 

Volumes of periodicals 
and of pamphlets are held 
in the library as much as 
possible. For special pur- 
poses they are given out for 
a limited time. 

Borrowers should not use 
their library privileges for 
the benefit of other persons. 

Books of special value 
and gift books, when the 
giver wishes it, are not 
allowed to circulate. 

Readers are asked to re^ 
port ^U cases of hooka 
marked or mutilated.- 

Do not deface books by marks and writing. 

Cornell University Library 
TC 788.C96 1853 

Isthmus of Darien ship canal :wlth a ful 

1924 022 883 791 

The original of this book is in 
the Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 


SkeTckes of ike Da.r?:^ro S/iy^p Cay?z€iyl Moute, iryDflUUrb. 

Hvve-r Sa,vcLrhau. Ihaposed GxnaZ. JLtverZourcL. fxi~ro(MotuntjIvnaM 

Bird's £ye View frorrt. Che Jurtdurro of die proposed CmioZ witk- IAg JayanxL River to ffwAUcmZic. 



-51 • »vrw: 


River Scuvanxi, 

Moziihy of iJve River ScLvcvrooy. 







De. cullen, f.r.g.s. 








^^^ — ■ 


Note under head of " Discovert of the Savana Eivek," etc. ; 
alter the first sentence to — Mr. Thomas Jefferys has marked out 
the Rio San Miguel, the next river to the W. of the Savana, but 
has omitted the latter altogether. His West India Atlas (1762) 
was compiled, etc. 


" Information has lately been received at this department 
from the Minister of Her Britannic Majesty, that the Com- 
pany which had contracted to build a ship canal across the 
Isthmus of Nicaragua, having found it impossible to carry 
out the plan as originally contemplated, has resolved to 
propose to the government of Nicaragua a modification of 
that plan, with the view of constructing a canal of smaller 
dimensions than those specifi.ed in the contract; and the 
British Minister has been instructed to intimate to this 
department, that if this information should prove correct. 
Her Majesty's Government would feel themselves at liberty, 
under the 7th article of the treaty of April 19, 1850, to 
withdraw their protection from that Company, and to 
transfer it to any other Company which should undertake 
a canal on the original plan ; it being deemed of the utmost 
importance by the British Government, that the great con- 
ception of an inter-oceanic canal, adapted to the accommo- 
dation of the vessels of the whole commercial world, should 
not dwindle down to an ordinary transit route for coasting 
vessels, which, to distant nations, would be comparatively 
destitute of value." — From Mr- Everett's communication to 
the President of the United States, laid before Congress by 
the President^ on the 18/A February, and reported in the 
" Times" of March Zrd. 


















Advantages of a Ship Canal . . . , 


Ignorance respecting Darien ..... 


Other Routes proposed ...... 


Discovery of the Route ...... 


Darien Canal Route ...... 


Vegetable Products, etc. 


Minerals ........ 


Emigration and Colonisation consequent on the undertaking 


History of Darien ...... 


Description of the Pacific Coast and Interior 


Atlantic Coast ....... 


Magdalena River 


Indians of Darien ...... 


Their Villages and Population ..... 


Declaration of Santa Anna Ceballos 


The Concession .,,.... 


Means of making the Road and Canal — Climate 


Profits of a Ship Canal — Preliminary Road 




Vocabulary of the Darien Language . ... 99 

Engineer's Report .....■• 103 

Prospectus of the Atlantic and Pacific Junction Company . 115 

The "Times" and Sir Charles Fox . . . .124 

The Most Practical Nation 138 

The Bulwer and Clayton Treaty 141 

The Scotch Colony of Darien . . . . .147 

Translations of Documents from the Archives of Bogota . 192 


The interest excited by a Project which not only 
involves the mighty advantages to commerce, by 
which Columbus was attracted, on his first voyage, 
to shorten the road to the East; but also has for 
its ultimate scope and tendency the enduring Peace 
TO ALL Nations, by making it a necessity as well 
as an advantage to avoid disputes, induces me to 
publish another Edition of " The Isthmus of Darien 

In doing so, I have made no change in the matter ; 
but have, by an alteration in the arrangement of 
the text, endeavoured to place the facts in a more 
clear and lucid order before the reader. 



I have added, in the present Edition, a few corro- 
borative notes and concurrent passages from various 
sources, some of them of 150 years' date, which may 
serve to elucidate, and perhaps enliven the dryness 
of the more sober form in which I have considered 
it my duty to the mercantile public to cast the 
details of the present narrative. I have also added 
a brief sketch of the History of the Scotch Colony 
of Darien, the fate of which is to me the more 
interesting, as I came out, in December, 1849, upon 
the exact spot of its settlement, after four days' 
lonely wandering in the bush, and fixed upon it at 
once and without any hesitation, as the terminus 
for a Ship-Canal and a station for a colony, without 
any knowledge then of its previous history, save 
that there had been a colony somewhere on the 
coast of Darien, and that it had been cruelly made 
to fail. 

As I was the only European who had ever 
crossed by the route I have proposed, and as the 
terror of the Darien Indians had been, for three 


centuries, so prevalent along the whole length and 
breadth of Terra Firma, I found it impossible 
to induce any one to accompany me in my 
subseq[uent journeys in 1850 and 1851, and conse- 
quently had to contend, in England, against the 
enormous difficulties necessarily to be encountered 
in my early attempts to bring forward a project of 
such magnitude, supported only by my own state- 
ments, which appeared the more singular, from 
the extraordinary fact of this tract of country 
having remained totally unknown and unexplored 
up to the period of my first journey to Darien. 

Upon my return to England, in December, 
1851, Sir Charles Fox, Mr. Henderson, and Mr. 
Brassey, upon a minute and careful examination 
of my Topographical Map, entered into an agree- 
ment with me, whereby they engaged to send out 
engineers to verify my observations (whilst I 
proceeded to Bogota to obtain the concession of the 
territory from the Government of New Granada) : 
the result of the expedition, dispatched for the 


above purpose, has been a complete corroboration 
of my statements, and the formation of a Company 
(The Atlantic and Pacific Junction Company) 
for the carrying out of this great undertaking. 

Edwaed ■'Cullen. 

302, Strand, Feb. 23, 1853, 




'■■-"'If,: / 

■■■■ .^')^,, 


/2 n-;^ 




JSy. Tliv Souti/iimf,s air. in fat/unrts. 





Ah,:.^aJ-: '^ r7 





■S\ <3* 





-V , 

— ni 

r I 

^J. . 

,s ' -■ „ i 


"' ' \. 


A/,-' .■■■/ 

^ '-%. 

^/ r^ 

. x 






;v . ■■■■ ri 

• ' rP'." Ihi-rnnn 

»/ ' I hi Chevo ^^^^^^ ^ 










■ir * a 

(^■(i<'S. M I 









/^ ';23 

37 ,„ 




Lotnht >j» 

TO ^? 




.'If., .VLMojua HeAyala 




fdtJ Aiju ilfi' 







"4^ C/i/i+"''!?'"' 

<y V "1 . , 111''' 
^■' ^••!•5<^''rn(""' 











'7"." (Av>/«> 

'P'." ffi.iw. 


.«'/./ «....« /.> 

, /('. Svh(jiuUey(rti<h 



■IV /■ 






CojiMEECiAL Advantages of a Ship Canal across 
THE Isthmus of Dakien. — A moment's glance at the 
map of the world must convince the most sceptical of the 
immense advantages that would accrue to the commercial 
world by opening a Ship Canal Communication between the 
Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Not only are these advantages 
universally acknowledged and appreciated, but the time is 
fast coming when a ship canal will not only be desirable, 
but actually indispensable. The necessities of commerce 
even now demand that the two oceans should be con- 
nected in such a way that ships can freely pass from one 
to the other, without going round Cape Horn or the Cape 
of Good Hope, and these necessities must in some way be 

Not only would all the commerce to the western shores 
of America pass through the proposed canal, but, after its 
opening, no voyages would be made round the Cape of 
Good Hope to any place eastward of Cape Comorin or 
Ceylon, as the Coromandel Coast of India, China, and 
Australia would be much more accessible, in either mon- 
soon, by the Darien Canal than by the present circuitous 
route, and the voyage out and home, or to and from India 
and China, could be made within one tropic, whilst, at 
present, a vessel must pass four times through each tropic 
in a single voyage out and home. 


As regards passages to and from the west coast of North 
or South America, it will be sufficient to mention, that to 
pass from Chagres to Panama, for instance, by sea, it would 
be necessary to sail from 9° N. latitude to 55° S., in order 
to weather the stormy Cape Horn, and to return up the 
west coast to 9° N. on the Pacific side; thus going over 
sixty-four degrees of latitude on the Atlantic, and sixty- 
four degrees on the Pacific side, or 7,680 miles, unneces- 
sarily, on a single passage, or 15,360 miles on a voyage to 
and from : and besides this enormous circuit, it must also be 
taken into account that, on such a passage, a vessel must 
run off to the E. as far as 30° W. long., in order to avoid 
the coast of Brazil, and must beat down, both in the 
Atlantic and Pacific, against the S.E. trade- wind — in the 
former when bound from Chagres to Panama, and in the 
latter when bound from Panama to Chagres. Moreover, 
the terrific storms from the west often experienced off Cape 
Horn, might delay her passage into the Pacific for weeks. 

In a passage to China by the proposed Canal, a vessel, 
having cleared its Pacific terminus, would at once enter 
into the tract of the N.E. trade-wind, which blows between 
the parallels of 10° and 23° N.; and her course being west, 
she would be carried with a fail-, steady breeze directly to 
her destination : in like manner, a vessel bound to India 
would pursue her course under the same favourable circum- 
stances as far as long. 140° E., when she would enter the 
region of tlie monsoons, where should the S.W. monsoon 
blow (as it does from April to September), she could enter 
it so well to windward, that it would put her but little out 
of her course, from its eastern edge to the Straits of Malacca 
whilst from those straits to Calcutta it would be a fair 

On the return voyage from China or India to the en- 
trance of the Canal, a ship would at once run up to between 
30° and 40" N., so as to be clear out of the region of the 
N.E. tirade, and avail herself of the strong west winds 
which prevail between those parallels, to steer an east 
course to the coast of Mexico, where she would meet the 
north land-wind, which would carry her with a flowing 
sheet down to the Isthmus. 

On a passage out to Australia, a ship would, after leaving 
the Canal, enter a narrow tract extending from 10° to 4° N., 
in which the winds are variable ; after having crossed this, 
she would enter the region of the S.E. trade, which, as her 
course would be about W. S.W., would be a perfectly fair 
■wind. Having passed the southern limit of this wind in 
23° S., she would enter the region of the N.W. wind, which 
would also be a favourable breeze. 

On her return from Australia to the Canal, she might at 
once run up into the S.E. trade, in lat. 23° S., from whence 
her course being about E.N.E., she would have a perfectly 
fair wind all the way ; or she might run down part of her 
easting within the limits of the N.W. wind, and then run 
up into the S.E. trade, by doing which she would have the 
wind a couple of points more free. 

Thus vessels bound either to or from India, China, and 
Australia, would have such fair, steady, regular winds, 
that their arrivals might be calculated upon with precision 
and accuracy. 

The junction of the two great oceans, approximating, as 
it were, the two hemispheres, is a project worthy of the 
energy, the resources, and the enterprise of Britain, and 
calculated to immortalise any company under whose aus- 
pices it may be accomplished; and no commercial specu- 

B 3 

lation has ever been entered into whlcli will confer such 
great and lasting benefits on mankind, carrying, as it would 
do, commerce and civilisation to the remotest comers of 
the earth. It has long been a desideratum, and now 
engrosses the attention of the mercantile world. 

" We are now -upon the dawn of an extension of com- 
merce in the direction of the Pacific, which will work 
some of the greatest wonders that have yet been witnessed 
from the energies of mankind." ' Already have two vast 
tides of emigration commenced, which will tend to equalise 
the distribution of the inhabitants of the globe — one of 
Europeans and North Americans to California and Australia, 
and one of Chinese to the western shores of America; and 
it may reasonably be expected, that ere long the cultivation 
of the "West Indies will receive a stimulus from an immi- 
gration of Chinese. 

The vast saving of time, by the adoption of this passage, 
which will enable ships to make two or three voyages in 
the same period that they now take to make one, of expense 
in their navigation, of wear and tear, of interest on the 
value of ship and cargo, of insurance on ship, cargo, and 
freight, and the great diminution of shipwrecks and loss of 
life by sea, will eflFect a complete but peaceful and beneficial 
revolution in commerce. 

Not only will a great saving of time be effected by the 
direct diminution of the distance to be traversed between 
Europe and America, and the east and west shores of the 
Pacific, and vice versa, but also by the avoidance of the loss 
of time occasioned by calms in the low latitudes, hard gales 
off the Capes, and the very long tacks to the Eastward 
and Westward, beating against the S.E. trade-wind in 

» " Times." 

tlie South Atlantic, or the N.E. or S.W. monsoon in the 
India or China seas, which vessels are now obliged to 
make; whilst, by the proposed route, fair steady breezes, 
smooth seas, and pleasant weather throughout the voyage 
both out and home, may be safely calculated upon. 

Nor are the benefits resulting from increased intercourse 
and proximity the only advantages which may be hoped 
for : the safety of life and property will be greatly increased ; 
the hardships of thousands of mariners will be lessened to 
an incalculable extent; and the facilities for benefiting our 
fellow-creatures wiU be greatly multiplied. 

Ere long, Darien wiU become the great inter-oceanic 
portal, the entrepSt of the world, the storehouse of nations, 
the grand highway of commerce. 

The Sun of October 12th, 1850, says, " Before a very 
considerable time has elapsed, the intention of England and 
America will- have been carried into effect; and then will 
be seen the extraordinary benefits accruing to both from 
opening a line of communication — not inappropriately 
designated, the Dardanelles of the Western Hemisphere. 
As yet, any large speculation upon the consequences of that 
great work would only seem to partake of romance and 
exaggeration. Yet a little serious thought can only serve 
to assure the most cautious and reflective, that the dreams 
of the most extravagant imagination are in a fair way of 
being eclipsed by reality — a new road must be opened to 
the East for England." 

The ignorance of a good route — the jealousy of rival 
nations— an erroneous idea that there was something too 
stupendous in the undertaking — a very strong prejudice 
that the difference of the level of the oceans, and of their 
rise of tide, would be a fatal objection — a most Exaggerated 

notion of the unhealthiness of the Isthmus — which is local 
and endemic, or fixed, in a few distinct localities, and does 
not pervade the whole Isthmus, and the futile attempts 
to effect a north-west passage through the ice of the 
polar seas, on which so much treasure and so many 
lives have been wasted, have hitherto prevented any 
attempt to cut through that narrow neck of land, and 
thereby, as it were, approximate the two hemispheres. 
Certain am I, however, that an attentive examination of 
the subject will prove how small is the amount of work 
required to be done on this route ; and that in cutting a 
canal in Darien, but little more difficulty exists than in the 
execution of a similar work in England.^ Considering the 
present resources of engineering science, I may venture to 
predict that ere long will be aocomphshed a work that 
has been talked of for three centuries, but never yet 
seriously or practically attempted, a work that will be the 
grandest effort of engineering science, and the surest basis 
on which to rest the hopes of the future establishment of 
universal peace and the brotherhood of nations, forming 
as it will, the neutral ground and place of congress, on 
which the nations of the earth will meet in peace. 

As it may not be uninteresting to compare the opinions 
of the older writers on inter-oceanic communication, with 
those of the more modern, and to give a slight sketch of the 
history of the negociations on the subject, I may be per- 

^The Forth and Clyde Canal, of thirty-five miles in length, with 
a summit level of 1 60 feet, which had to be carried through 
moss, quicksand, gravel, and rocks, over precipices, and across 
valleys ; in the course of which, besides smaller ones, eighteen 
drawbridges and fifteen aqueducts, with several tunnels, had to 
be constructed, was commenced in 1768, by Mr. Smeaton, and 
completed in 1790, at a cost of £200,000. Compare this with 
the almost total absence of difficulties of the route proposed. 

mitted to lay before the reader the following quotations 
and comments on them. A writer in the " Edinburgh 
Review," Jan. 1809, vol. xlli., p. 283, says — 

'' We are tempted to dwell for a moment upon the 
prospects which the accomplishment of this splendid but not 
difficult enterprise opens to the nation. It is not merely the 
immense commerce of the western shores of America, extending 
almost from pole to pole, that is brought, as it were, to our 
door ; it is not the intrinsically important, though comparatively 
moderate, branch of our commerce, that of the South Sea 
whalers, that will alone undergo a complete revolution, by saving 
the tedious and dangerous voyage round Cape Horn : the whole 
of those immense interests which we hold deposited in the regions 
of Asia, become augmented in value to a degree which, at present, 
it is not easy to conceive, by obtaining direct access to them 
across the Pacific ocean. It is the same thing as if, by some great 
revolution of the globe, our Eastern possessions were brought 
nearer to us. The voyage across the Pacific, the winds both for 
the Eastern and Western passage being fair and constant, is so 
expeditious and steady, that the arrival of the ships may be cal- 
culated almost with the accuracy of a mail coach. 

"Immense would be the traffic which would immediately begin 
to cover that ocean, by denomination Pacific. All the riches of 
India and China would move towards America. The riches of 
Europe and America would move towards Asia. Vast dep6ts 
would be formed at the great commercial towns, which would 
immediately arise at the two extremities of the Central Canal. 
The goods would be in a course of perpetual passage from the 
one depSt to the other, and would be received by the ships, as 
they arrived, which were prepared to convey them to their ulti- 
mate destination." 

Twenty years previous to this date, this same project of a Ship 
Canal formed one of the most earnest aspirations of the great 
mind of William Pitt, who received with empressement, in 1790, 
the proposals addressed to him on the subject by General 
Miranda, as a means to the emancipation of the Spanish colonies 
and a furtherance of British commerce in the Southern and 
Eastern seas. We are enabled also to trace, a few years later, 
in the archives of the Foreign Office, a proposition from the same 
party, that the United States should send a joint armament of 
10,000 men, with a fleet from Great Britain, to take possession 
of the Isthmus of Darien, and open roads and canals through it 
for the united commerce of both nations, thus preluding the 
treaty of Nicaragua, of which the statesmen of our days are so 
justly proud. 

A writer in the Edinburgh Review (vol. xvi., p. 96) speaking 


of " the celebrated colony of New Caledonia, founded by our 
unfortunate countrymen in the latter part of the seventeenth 
century, and most scandalously sacrificed by their rulers to the 
jealousy of the Dutch and English," says, " It is singular enough 
that these adventurers should have happened to select for their 
settlement the only point where a communication between the 
two seas seems practicable. It is melancholy to reflect, and idle 
to enlarge, upon the perfidious and narrow policy to which this 
magnificent project was sacrificed. Had the settlement founded 
by our countrymen been maintained for a few years only, the 
Succession War, which almost immediately followed, would have 
secured to us the firm possession of the country, and opened to 
us an intercourse with the South Sea, which the House of 
Bourbon, our inveterate enemies, would never have been able to 
have shut against us." 

" The most ardent imagination," says Mr. William Davis 
Robinson, a United States merchant, writing in 1821, "would 
fail in an attempt to portray all the important and beneficial 
consequences that would result from the execution of this work, 
the magnitude and grandeur of which are worthy the profound 
attention of every commercial nation. It is indeed a subject so 
deeply and generally interesting, that the powerful nations of the 
old afid those of the new world, should discard from its exami- 
nation all selfish or ambitious considerations. Should the work 
be undertaken, let it be executed on a magnificent scale ; and, 
when completed, let it become, like the ocean, a highway of 
nations, the enjoyment of which shall be guaranteed by them all 
and which shall be exempt from the caprice or regulations of any 
one kingdom or state." 

I have inserted these opinions, to show that the advantages 
mentioned as hkely to result from the construction of a Ship 
Canal are not put forth to aid a new speculation, but are the 
recorded convictions of all enlightened minds during the last half 

In the appendix to Sir J.Dalrymple's memoirs, the following 
passage occurs in an "Account of an intended expedition into the 
South Seas, by private persons in the late war." " Vessels meet 
with a southland wind from the southmost point of ChiU, all the 
way to the Bay of Panama. This wind never varies, carries 
ships above a hundred miles a day, and the tract in which it runs 
reaches a hundred leagues off the coast to the west. From the 
Bay of Panama, ships are carried to the East Indies by the great 
trade wind, at above an hundred miles a day. This is the tract of 
Spanish ships, from their dominions on the South Seas, to their 
possessions in the Philippine Islands. From the East Indies to 
the South Seas there are two passages; one by the North, to sail 
to the latitude of 40" North, in order to get into the great west 

wind, which ahout that latitude blows ten months in the year ; and 
which, being strong, carries vessels with quickness to the Northern 
part of the Coast of Mexico. From the extreme point of Mexico, in 
the North, there is a land wind which blows all the way to the Bay 
of Panama, from the North to the South, precisely similar in all 
respects to the land wind which blows along the Coast of Chili 
to that Bay, from the South to the North. This first tract into 
the latitude 40" North, and then along the Coast of Mexico, is 
the route which the Acapulco ships take in coming from the 
PhiUppines to the South. 

"The other route from the East Indies is by the South, 
to get into the latitude of 40" South, or New Holland, 
and from thence to take advantage of the great west wind, 
which, about that latitude, blows ten months of the year, in 
order to reach the Southern part of Chili, where the southland 
wind will be found. The facility of this last route was not known 
tin the late discoveries of Captain Cook." 

The voyage from Manilla to Acapulco has frequently been 
made by dull-sailing Spanish ships in seventy-five days, and at 
certain seasons of the year it has been performed by vessels 
whose top-gallant-saUs were not once taken in during the voyage. 
Vident storms sre seldom experienced in the Pacific, excepting in 
the vicinity of Cape Horn, and in the high latitudes to the north- 

In a letter from an experienced naval officer to the Times, dated 
November 28th, 1850, the following passages occur: — "The 
navigation from Suez to Ceylon is, of course, already well-known. 
That from Point de Galle to Swan River is open to this objection, 
viz., the frequency of hurricanes, which, at certain seasons sweep 
over the Indian Ocean, between the Isle of France and the west 
side of New South Wales, with frightful violence, and through 
which, as I can testify from experience, numbers of our finest 
ships have at various times suffered serious damage, while not a 
few have been totally lost. 

" From Swan River to King George's Sound, and Adelaide, 
and indeed along the whole southern coast of New South Wales, 
violent winds almost constantly prevail from the westward, 
causing a prodigious sea to arise, which nearly precludes any 
navigation in that direction ; and which, I am of opinion, would 
be a cause not only of frequent irregularities in the arrivals and 
departures of the vessels between those ports, but of annoyance 
and discomfort of the passengers. 

" That by the Cape of Good Hope, which at present forms the 
ordinary mode of transit. 

" The principal, and indeed only, objections to it that I know 
of are the high seas and boisterous weather, which are the almost 
constant attendants upon those high latitudes, between the Cape 


of Good Hope and Sydney. The gales of wind, nearly without 
any variation throughout the year, from N.W. to S.W., render 
the return passage between those two ports a matter of very 
great uncertainty, and prove a source of exceeding discomfort to 
everybody on board, while in spite of the finest vessels and best 
nautical skill, they further cause frequent delays and u'regularities 
in the voyages. 

"The last line to be examined is that by the Isthmus of 

" Throughout the entire range of this route across the vast 
Pacific Ocean, both going and returning between Panama, New 
Zealand, and Sydney, fine weather, smooth seas, and a pleasant 
temperature almost every where prevail ; and the trade- winds, 
generally speaking, blow with such gentle force and constant 
regularity that the seaman acquainted with them is enabled, 
even at the present time, to shape his course from port to port 
with certainty and confidence, thereby enabling him even without 
the advantage of steam, to calculate upon his arrival with accu- 
racy and precision. 

" In looking upon the advantages of establishing a line of 
steam communication to New South Wales by the Panama route, 
the important point must not be overlooked of its being a-re- 
source in the event of any interruption to our communication 
with India by the Isthmus of Suez ; a point indeed, which I 
consider ought to form matter of the highest consideration. 

" The distance by this line is likewise a consideration. It is 
shorter than that by any of the others, being only 12,690 

Extract from the Times, of Wednesday, December 11th, 
1850: — "The letter in the Times to-day on various steam routes 
to Australia, has attracted attention from the practical nature of 
its statements. It tends to confirm all the arguments that have 
lately been put forward with regard to the complete superiority 
of the western line from Panama to Sydney, and has increased 
the unfavourable feeling with which the leading persons interested 
in the welfare of Anstralia have long regarded the strange want 
of decision shown by the government on this important question. 
While the attention of the whole world is turned to the Pacific 
Ocean, and to the vast commercial benefits that are destined to 
arise from the extension of enterprise in that direction, the sole 
object with our ministers seems to have been to carry the route 
through the Indian seas (where the development of our trafSc 
calls for no extraneous aid), at an alleged additional cost, as 
compared with the Pacific route of at least twelve days in time, 
and 100 per cent, in the chai-ges for freight and passage, besides 
unnecessary risk and inconvenience." 

" During the administraton of William Pitt, various projects 


were presented to him, tending to shew the feasibility of cutting 
a canal through the Isthmus sufficiently wide and deep to admit 
vessels of the largest size ; and it is well-lcnown that this states- 
man frequently, among his private friends, spoke with rapture on 
this subject, and that it constituted one of the great considera- 
tions in his mind when forming his plans for the emancipation of 
Spanish America." — Bobinson's Memoirs of the Mexican Revolution, 

In the instrument drawn up in 1797, by the Deputies or Com- 
missioners from Mexico and the other principal provinces of 
South America, who met General Miranda at Paris, for the pur- 
pose of agreeing to and placing it in the hands of the British 
Government, the sixth article stipulates for the opening of the 
navigation between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans by the 
Isthmus of Panama, as well as by the Lake of Nicaragua, and 
the guarantee of its freedom to the British nation. 

Mr. Pitt agreed to the proposal, to which a further addition 
was made on the 17th October, 1798, by which the United 
States were to come into the alliance, and to find 1 0,000 troops, 
and the British Government agreed to find money and ships. A 
delay on the part of President Adams prevented the execution of 
the project ; but it was not lost sight of, for three years later, in 
1801, the project was revived under Lord Sidmouth, the plans of 
government for South America approved, the military operations 
sketched out, and the expedition actually in preparation. These 
were put an end to by the Peace of Amiens. Again in 1804 
Mr. Pitt resumed the plan, and zealously pushed it forward ; and 
Lord Melville and Sir Home Popham were engaged with General 
Miranda in arranging the details, when the affairs of Europe and 
the new coalition of the Sovereigns interfered to prevent it, and 
Miranda was driven to strike a blow for himself, in the expedition 
to Caraccas, where he nearly met the fate of William Paterson, 
by the sudden withdrawal of all support on the side of the West 
Indies, where he had been led to expect it. The blow first struck 
by Miranda was followed up by Simon Bolivar, who finally 
liberated Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru from the yoke of Spain. 

Ignorance respecting Darien. — It is a very singu- 
lar circumstance that the Coast of Darien, the first 
settled in America, (Santa Maria having been founded 
in 1509, and Agla in Caledonia Bay in 1514) within 
eighteen days' steaming from England, close also to such 
frequented ports as Chagres, Carthagena, and Kingston, 
Jamaica, should be ^t the present day as unknown as 


the Coasts of Patagonia or of New Guinea, and that the 
vast advantages of this tract of country, for a canal, should 
have escaped the penetration of the great Humboldt, who, 
after having examined all the maps in the Deposito Hydro- 
graphico of Madrid, appears to suggest the Chuquanaqua. 
He says, " On the Pacific Coast also, the deep Golfo de San 
Miguel, into which falls the Tuyra with its tributary, the 
Chuchunque runs far into the Isthmus; the river Chuchun- 
que too, in the upper part of its course, runs within sixteen 
geographical miles of the Antillean shore of the Isthmus, 
westward of Cape Tiburon." — Views of Nature, Potsdam, 
June, 1849, p. 432 of Bohn's translation. 

Other Eoutes Proposed. — The respective lengths of 

the several proposed routes are as follows : — 


The Tehuantepec route (Mexico) - - - 198 
The Nicaragua route, from San Juan del Norte 

to Brito (Disputed Boundaries) - - - 194 

Atrato route, by Napipi and Cupica (New Granada) 172 

Chagres or Limon Bay to Panama (do.) - 51 
Darien route, from Port Escosces to the Gulf of 

San Miguel - - - (do.) - 39 

None of the above routes, except the last, have good 
harbours, without which it would be a fruitless waste of 
money to cut a Canal; and among many other objections 
to the first two, political difficulties exist in reference to the 
countries through which they would pass. 

The Tehuantepec route has no harbour^ on either 

^ "It is necessary to remark," says Captain Fitzroy, R.N., 
Journal of the Royal Geographical Society, vol. xx. p. 165, 


A privilege for cutting a canal by this route was granted, 
some years ago, by my friend, General Santa Anna, to 
Don Jose de Garay, wlio made a very accurate survey, but 
was unable to form a company, and transferred bis grant to 
an American Company in New Orleans, whose engineers 
were ordered out of Mexico by the Mexican government, 
on the ground that the privilege had become null and void; 
and the matter now forms a subject of dispute between 
the United States and Mexico. This route offers great 
facilities for a road, and for steam navigation on the 
Coatzacoalcos river. 

Nicaragua Eoute.— I shall here submit the following 
Comparative Table of the engineering features of the 
Nicaragua and the Darien proposed ship-canal routes, com- 
piled from the " Map and Profile of the Route for the 
Construction of a Ship Canal from the Atlantic to the. 
Pacific Ocean across the Isthmus in the State of Nicaragua, 
Central America, surveyed for the American Atlantic and 
Pacific Ship Canal Company, by 0. W. Childs, chief 
engineer; J. D. Fay, principal assistant; F. F. Curry, 
G. Fitzgerald, and J. E. Cropsey, assistants, 1850-51, 
J. and D. Majors, Lith, 177, Broadway, New York;" from 
"Darien Ship Navigation, Engineer's Report to Messrs. 
Fox, Henderson, and Brassey," London, 1852, Saunders 
and Stanford, 6, Charing-cross; and the first edition of this 

" further, that irrespective of climate and political considerations, 
there is one chief requisite, one main point to be insisted on, 
in connection with any route, or line, intended to be available for 
general utility, without which permanent success wiU be im- 
possible. This indispensable adjunct is a good port. Without 
such a place of resort at each end of any canal or railroad, easi/ 
of access, and sheltered at all times, shipping could not effect their 
objects securely, and in definite times. Delay, expense, and 
risk, must be the consequences of using a route unprovided with 
adequate harbourage." 


pampUet, London, 1853, EfHingham "Wilson, 11, Eoyal 
Exchange : — 


Harbours. — San Juan del 
Norte, on tlie Atlantic, of in- 
sufficient capacity and depth 
of water. Brito, on the 
Pacific, has no title what- 
ever to the name of harbour. 

Artificial harbour at Brito 

28 Locks necessary. — 14 
on the Atlantic side, from 
San Juan to the rapids of 
Castillo and Tore on the 
lake ; and 14 on the Pacific 
side from the lake to Brito. 

7 Dams on the river San 
Juan necessary. 

Artificial harbours, piers, 
and embankments, necessary 
at each end of the lake, the 
approach to the shores of 
which is impracticable, ow- 
ing to shoals and sandbanks. 


Distance across, 194 miles. 

Summit level of lake, 128 
feet, to be locked up to on 
each side. 

Length of canal necessary, 
47 miles; length of river to 


Caledonia Bay, Port Es- 
coces, and the Channel of 
Sarssadi, on the Atlantic 
side, have an extent of 11 
miles of safe anchorage in 
all winds, and great depth 
of water. The Gulf of San 
Miguel, on the Pacific side, 
would hold the shipping of 
the world. 

Excellent natural harbours, 
as above. 

No locks necessary. 

No dams required. 

No such works necessary 
— nothing whatever to be 
done but a simple cut. 


Distance across, 39 miles. 

Greatest depth of cutting 
necessary, 150 feet, for 
scarcely two miles. 

Canal to be cut, 25 to 30 
miles. No dredging or 


be deepened and dredged, 
91 miles. Total length of 
work to be done, 138 miles. 

Could not be made navi- 
gable for large sbips, say of 
1,000 tons burthen. 

Proposed depth, 17 feet. 

Time necessary for transit 
from sea to sea, through so 
many locks, six days and ten 
hours, at the ([uickest rate. 
Colonel Childs' estimate of 
77 hours being calculated on 
the supposition that a vessel 
would be in course of con- 
tinuous transit, both day and 
night, and that she would 
only spend 28 minutes at the 
passage of each lock. 

Estimated cost of a canal 
17 feet deep, 100 feet wide at 
bottom, with 28 locks, and 
7 dams, pi,538,319 55c. 
or £6,570,483. 

Estimated cost of a canal 
20 feet deep, £10,000,000. 

Tornados and papagayos, 
or violent hurricanes, on the 

Volcanos* in a state of ac- 
tivity along the route. 

deepening of river or other 
work necessary. 


Can be made 
for ships of the greatest 
draught of water. 

Proposed depth, 30 feet. 

Transit could be effected 
in six hours, or one tide. 

Estimated cost of a canal 
with locks, and navigable 
for vessels of the greatest 
draught ofwater £4,500,000. 

Estimated cost of a canal 
without locks, 30 feet deep 
and 140 feet wide at bottom, 

Coasts peculiarly exempt 
from storms and hurricanes. 
See pilot books and Captain 

No volcanos within some 
hundreds of miles. 

* The exemption of Darien from volcanic disturbance is 
remarkable. " It ought to be remembered," says Captain 
Fitzroy, " that the vicinity of Panama has not been known to 


None have ever been 
known to have occurred. 

Concession from New- 
Granada recognised by all 
Governments — term of one 
year, within which the Com- 
pany is required by the con- 
cession, and by the Bulwer 
and Clayton treaty, to com- 
mence operations, unexpired 
— company formed. 

Company provisionally re- 
gistered, and will receive a 
royal charter of incorpora- 

Earthquakes in neighbour- 

Disputed territorial boun- 
daries — concession in litiga- 
tion — attempt to form a 
company failed — Promoters 
have forfeited their claim to 
the protection of Great Bri- 
tain and the United States, 
the term of one year, allowed 
by the Bulwer and Clayton 
treaty, within which to com- 
mence operations, having 

Charter of incorporation 
from State of New York in- 
fringed, by incapacity to 
comply with the principal 
clause, viz., that the canal 
should be navigable for ves- 
sels of the greatest draught 
of water. 

The Atrato route labours under the disadvantage of a 
bad harbour, on the Pacific side, Cupica being of very small 
extent, and open to the S.W. ; and the Atrato has a bar 
with only five feet of water on it, while the rise of tide in 
the Gulf of Darien is only two feet. 

The Chagkes, or Limon Bay and Panama route, sur- 
veyed in 1829 by Col. Lloyd and M. Palmare, under a 
commission from the Liberator, Simon Bolivar, and subse- 

suffer from such disturbance. That district appears to be one of 
those limited tracts sometimes found in volcanic regions, on each 
side of which earthquakes and eruptions occur without affecting 
the central district. It does not appear, however, that there have 
been eruptions or violent earthquakes during the last few 
centuries in any part of the Isthmus usually called Darien." 


quently by M. Garella, has sucK bad harbours, that the idea 
of a canal by that line has been totally abandoned. 

The route from Chepo mouth to Mandinga Bay, proposed 
by Mr. Evan Hopkins/ who attempted to survey it in 1847, 
for the New Granada Government, although the narrowest 
line across the Isthmus, being only twenty-seven miles 
across, from Chepo to Carti, has the disadvantages of bad 
coasts, a very high Cordillera, of from 2,000 to 6,000 feet 
elevation, and a large population of Indians. 

The bar at the mouth of Chepo River is quite dry at low 
water, as is also a sand-bank which extends several miles 
out into the Bay of Panama ; the part of the Atlantic coast 
on the other side is beset with reefs, shoals and kays, and 
is dangerous of approach. 

Capt. Fitzroy, E.N., in his " Considerations upon the 
Great Isthmus of Central America," suggests a line from 
the upper course of the Tuyra to the Atrato, or the 
coast of Darien above its mouth, as an improvement of 
the route proposed by me ; but this would be nearly twice 

5 "Mr. Hopkins," says Capt. Fitzroy, p. 23, "was lately pre- 
vented by the Indians from ascending the Chepo River towards 
Mandinga or San Bias Bay ; Mr. Wheelwright was also stopped 
there in 1837 ; and Dr. Cullen was likewise stopped by the abori- 
gines while endeavouring to ^cend the Paya river, that runs from 
near the mouths of the Atrato to the Tuyra, which falls into the 
Gulf of San Miguel." 

I learned in Darien that Mr. Hopkins and Don Pepe Hurtado, 
a Granadian engineer, made a present of a scarlet military coat 
to an Indian on the Chepo, and that as soon as the Indian chief 
of the district learned it, he flogged the Indian who accepted the 
present, and summoned his people to arms, and Mr. H. and Don 
Pepe had to fly for their lives. Most probably the chief looked 
upon the acceptance of gaudy trappings as an acknowledgement 
of submission to foreigners. I have mentioned elsewhere my 
having learned subsequently that the reason of the Indians having 
stopped me was the fear of small-pox being introduced amongst 
them rather any dislike to foreigners. 


the distance of tlie Port Escoscds, and Gulf of San Miguel 
route ; tliere would be the mountain of Chacargun or the 
Sierra de Maly to cross (see page 58), and, should the 
canal open into the Atrato, there would be the very for- 
midable obstacle of the bar to remove, while of the coast 
above the Atrato mouth, the " Columbian navigator" says, 
" all this coast from Tarena Kays to Cape Tiburon is 
high and precipitous, with deep water off it; and it is 
very wild in the season of the breezes. It is very advi- 
sable, therefore, at these seasons, to shun it." Any route 
however, in this direction, would be included in the 
privilege granted, on the 1st of June, 1852, by the New 
Granada Government, to Edward CuUen, Charles Fox, 
John Henderson, and Thomas Brassey, for cutting a canal 
from Port Escosces to the Gulf of San Miguel, which gives 
power to select any place from the west mouth of the 
Atrato to Punta Musquitos, for the Atlantic entrance of 
the canal. 

Discovert of the Savana River and the 
EoUTE FOR THE Ship Canal. — I imagine that the 
river Savana^ was not delineated in the maps which Hum- 

^ Mr. Thomas Jefferys has marked out the Rio San Miguel, 
the next river to the west of the Savana, but has omitted the 
latter altogether. His West India Atlas (1762) was compiled 
from the draughts and surveys found on board the Galleons 
captured from the Spaniards. The Chuquanaqua is marked in the 
map of the Darien Scotch settlement and circumjacent county, 
prefixed to " A Letter, giving a description of the Isthmus of 
Darien," 4to., Edinburgh, 1699. It is remarkable, that some of 
the passages in this " Letter" are identical with Basil Ringrose's 
account of the Buccaneer's passage across the Isthmus, which 
I have quoted in page 46, and which I have taken from a MS. 
in the Ayscough collection (British Museum), by Basil Ringrose 
himself, illuminated with coloured portraits of Captain Andreas, 
" the Emperor of the Isthmus," " King Golden Cap," " the 
Darien Chief," and sketches of the houses, weapons, and orna- 
ments of the natives. 


boldt saw.^ Sucli, indeed, was tlie case with the map 
wliicli I had onmy first journey into Darien in 1849, so that I 
was totally ignorant of its existence, until I actually saw 
it, after entering Boca Chica, when finding the great 
depth of water at its mouth, and that it fiowed almost 
directly from the north, I became convinced that I had at 
last found the object of my search, viz., a feasible route to 
the Atlantic, and thereupon immediately ascended it, and 
crossed from Canasas to the sea-shore at Port Escosces and 
backj and subsequently, in 1850 and also in 1851, crossed 
and recrossed, at several times and by several tracks, the 
route from the Savana to Port Escosces and Caledonia Bay, 
notching the barks of the trees as I went along, with 
a macheta or cutlass, always alone and unaided, and 
always in the season of the heaviest lains. I had pre- 
viously examined, on my way from Panama, the mouths 
of Chepo, Chiman, Congo, and several other rivers, but 
found them all obstructed by bars and sandbanks, and im- 
practicable for a "ship passage, so that upon seeing the 
Savana, 1 had not the least hesitation in deciding that that 
must be the future route for inter-oceanic communication 
for ships. 

' This I attribute to the jealousy of the Spaniards, who were 
careful to withhold any information that might lead the English 
to the discovery of an easy communication between the two seas. 
Alcedo, in his " Diccionario Historico de las Indias Ocoidentales," 
says that it was interdicted, mi pain of death, even to propose 
opening the navigation between the two seas. " En tiempo de 
Felipe II. se project^ cortarlo, y comunicar los dos mares por 
medio de un canal, y a este efecto se enviaron para reconocerlo 
dos Injini^ros Flamencos, pero encontraron dificultades in.super- 
ables, J el consejo de Indi&,s represent6 los perjuicios que de ello 
se seguirian a la monarquia, per cuya razon mand6 aquel Monarca 
que nadie propusifese 6 tratase de ello en adelante, pena de la 
vida." The navigation of the Atrato, also, was interdicted, on 
pain of death. 

C 2 


The Daeien Canal Eoute. — Port Escosces or Scotch 
Harbour, and the Bay of Caledonia, on the Atlantic coast of 
the Isthmus of Darien^ present an extent of six nautical 
miles, from S. E. to N.W., of safe anchorage in all winds. 
These harbours are situated between Carreto Bay and the 
channel of Sassardi, and are 140 miles E. S. E. of Limon 
Bay, and twenty-one miles W.N.W. of Cape Tiburon, the 
N. W. boundary of the Gulf of Darien. Port Escosces extends 
to the S.E. to lat. 8° 50' and long. 77° 41'; and Golden 
Island, or Isla de Oro, or Santa Catalina, which forms the 
N.W. boundary of Caledonia Bay, is in lat. 8° 54' 40", 
and long. 77° 45' 30". 

The channel of Sassardi, also, extending from Caledonia 
Bay N.W. five miles, to the Fronton, or point of Sassardi, is 
sheltered from the winds and seas of both seasons, and bars 
good depth of water. 

Twenty-two miles S.W. of Port Escosces is the site of 
the old Spanish settlement of Fuerte del Principe, on the 
river Savana, established in 1785, and abandoned in 1790. 
From thence the river Savana has nearly a S. by E. course 
for fourteen miles to its mouth, which opens into the river 
Tuyra, Santa Maria, or Rio Grande del Darien, three miles 
above Boca Chica and Boca Grande, the two mouths by 
which the latter discharges itself into the Gulf of San 
Miguel on the Pacific. 

Thus the distance from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, 
by the route from Port Escosces or Caledonia Bay, to the 
Gulf of San Miguel, by way of the river Savana, would be 
thirty -nine miles. In a direct line, from Port Escosces to 
the Gulf, the distance is thirty-three miles. 

In " Considerations on the great Isthmus of Central 
America, read before the Royal Geographical Society of 


London, on the llth and 25tli Nov., 1850," Captain 
Fitzroy, E.N., says, " Any route that could be made 
available between San Miguel Gulf and Caledonia Bay, or 
the Gulf of Darien or Choco, would have the advantage of 
excellent harbours at each end^ and a great rise of tide in 
one of them (San Miguel). The river Savana is recom- 
mended by Dr. Cullen, from personal examination, as being 
more navigable (for canoes s) and approaching nearer the 
North Coast than the Chuquanaqua does ; though this does 
not appear in the Spanish maps. From the head of the 
Savana, a ravine, about three leagues in length, extends to 
Caledonia Bay, and there (Dr. Cullen says, having passed 
through it) he thinks a canal might be cut with less diffi- 
culty than elsewhere, if it were not for the opposition of the 
natives. He also speaks of the Indians transporting their 
canoes across at this ravine, and of the comparative healthi- 
ness of this part of the Isthmus." 

The whole work to be done, in order to make a Ship- 
Canal communication between the Atlantic and PacijBc 
Oceans by this route, would be to cut from Principe or 
from Lara Mouth to Port Escosces or Caledonia Bay, a 
distance of from twenty-two to twenty-five miles, of which 
there would be but three or four miles of deep cutting. 

The Canal, to be on a scale of grandeur commensurate 
with its important uses, should be cut sufficiently deep to 
allow the tide of the Pacific to flow right through it, across 
to the Atlantic; so that ships bound from the Pacific to the 
Atlantic would pass with the flood, and those from the 
Atlantic to the Pacific with the ebb tide of the latter. 
Such was the plan recommended in my Report to Lord 

8 In its upper course, as it is navigable for large vessels nearly 
to Principe. 


Palmerston. By such a Canal — tliat is, one entirely -with- 
out locks — the transit from sea to sea could be effected in 
six hours, or one tide.9 

For the engineering details, and estimates of the cost of 
the work, I beg to refer to the valuable Eeport* of Mr. Lionel 
Gisbornej C.E., who, with his assistant, Mr. Forde, was 
commissioned, last April, by Messrs. Fox, Henderson, and 

^ " It is ascertained," says Captain Fitzroy, '' that there is only a 
trifling difference between the levels of the ocean at this Isthmus. 
A rise of tide not exceeding two feet is found on the Atlantic 
side, while in Panama Bay the tide rises more than eighteen feet ; 
the mean level of the Pacific in this particular place being two or 
three feet above that of the Atlantic. It is high water at the 
same hour in each ocean" (p. 17). 

Colonel Lloyd says that the Pacific at high water is thirteen 
feet higher than the Atlantic, while the Atlantic is highest at low 
water by six feet. Baron Humboldt said, in 1809, "the differ- 
ence of level between the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean 
does not probably, exceed nine feet ; and at diiferent hours in 
the day sometimes one sea, sometimes the other is the more ele- 
vated." But this difference would be no hindrance, but, on the 
contrary a most important advantage in a Ship Canal, since it 
would create a current from the Atlantic to the Pacific during the 
ebb, and one from the Pacific to the Atlantic, during the flood 
tide of the Pacific, and these alternate currents would enable each 
of the fleets to pass through at different times, those bound from 
the Atlantic to the Pacific during the ebb-tide of the latter, and 
those from the Pacific to the Atlantic during the flood- tide of the 
former. This arrangement in the periods of transit would afford 
many advantages, such as obviating the meeting of the vessels 
and the necessity of their passing one another, and preventing 
their accumulation or crowding together in the canal, as each 
fleet could be carried right through in one tide, if not by the current 
alone, at least with the aid of tug steamers. The alternation of the 
currents would have the further beneficial effect of washing out the 
bed of the canal, and keeping it free from the deposition of sand 
or mud, so that dredging would never become necessary ; and 
would also render the degree of width necessary for the canal 
less ; though I do not reckon this to be a point of moment, as 
the wider and deeper it is cut the better, and the work once 
finished wiU last to the end of the world, since the natural effect 
of the alternate currents will be a gradual process of deepening 
and widening, which will convert the canal into a Strait. 

* In Appepdix. 


Brasseyj to survey tMs route, which they found to be per- 
fectly feasible for a Ship Canal communication, and fully as 
eligible as I had represented it. 

It is needless to say, that, under the auspices of Messrs. 
Fox, Henderson, and Brassey, who, with that clear discern- 
ment and prompt decision, which have placed them in the 
elevated position which they occupy, adopted this route in 
December 1851, after a careful examination of my state- 
ments, the great work of an inter-oceanic canal is sure, ere 
long, to be accomplished. 

I trust that an attentive consideration of the advantages 
of this route — viz., its shortness, the excellence of its har- 
bours, the low elevation of the land, the absence of bars at 
the Savana and Tuyra mouths, the depth of water and 
great rise of tide in the former, its directness of course and 
freedom from obstructions, the healthiness of the adjacent 
country, the exemption of the coasts from northers and 
hurricanes, the feasibility of cutting a canal without locks, 
and the absence of engineering difficulties — will fully justify 
me in asserting it to be the shortest, the most direct, safe, 
and expeditious, and in every way the most eligible route 
for intermarine communication for large ships. 

An examination of the physical aspect of the country 
from Port Escosc6s to the Savana — presenting, as it does, 
but a single ridge of low elevation, and this broken by 
gorges, ravines, and valleys, and grooved by rivers and 
streams, with a champaign country extending from its base 
on each side — will prove the feasibility of making the 
Canal entirely without locks, a superiority which this route 
possesses over others, which all present insurmountable 
physical obstacles to the construction of such a Canal. 

In fact, a glance at the map ought to convince the most 


sceptical tliat nature has unmistakeably marked out this 
space for the junction of the two oceans, and the breaking 
of the continuity of North and South America; indeed, so 
narrow is the hne of division, that it would almost appear 
as if the two seas did once meet here. 

Details of the Route Peoposed. — I shall now 
enter into a more detailed description of this route, 
which I discovered in 1849, and proposed for a Ship 
Canal communication between the Atlantic and Pacific 
Oceans, in the Panama Echo of February 8th, 1850, in the 
Daily News and Mining Journal of May, 1850;'° in a paper 
presented to the Eoyal Geographical Society, and read at 
the Edinburgh Meeting of the British Association, in July, 
1850; and in a Eeport to Lord Palmerston, of January 
15th, 1851. 

This Eeport was acknowledged by his Lordship in the 
following letter : — 


" Foreign Office, 

''January 28th, 1851. 
" Sir, 

" I am directed by Viscount Palmerston to 
acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 15th instant, 
inclosing a Report upon the subject of your plan for the 
construction of a Canal to join the Atlantic and Pacific 
Oceans, by way of the river Savana; and I am to request 
that you will put in writing your ideas as to what you 
consider the best course for the purpose of carrying your 
plan into execution. 

" I am, 

" Sir, 
" Your most obedient, humble servant, 

" H. N. Addington. 
"Dr. Cullen, Broad-street Buildings." 

1° And subsequent Months, in a controversy with Evan Hop- 
kins, Esq., C,E. & M.E. 


Poet Escosces— Of Port Escosc^s, Caledonia Bay, 
and the Channel of Sassardi, the Columbian Navigator, '^^ 
vol. 3, p. 218, says :— 

" Port Escosces, or Caledonia, lat. S" 51', long. 77" 44', is 
a noble harbour; very safe, and so extensive, that a 
thousand sail of vessels may enter it.'^ 

'' Punta Escosces is the S.E. point of Caledonia Bay, 
the greater islet of Santa Catalina, or de Oro (gold), being 
the N.W. Between point and point the distance is four 
miles, and the points lie N.W. and S.E. (N. 40" W., and 
S. 40° E.), from each other; and in respect to this line, 
the Bay falls in one mile and two-thirds. In the S.E. 
part of this bay is Puei-to Escosces (or Scottish Harbour), 
which extends inward two miles in that direction, and 
forms good shelter. There are various shoals in it, 
which are represented in the particular plan of the 
harbour, by which plan any vessel may run in, for the 
depths are five, six, seven, and eight fathoms of water over 
a bottom of sand. 

"Between Piedras Islet to the north, the west point 
of Aglatomate river to the south, and that of San Fulgencio 
to the S.W., is formed the Ensenada, or Bay of Caledonia, 
and the Channel of Sassardi. 

Caledonia Bat.'^ — "The Ensenada, or Cove of Cale- 

'1 By John Purdy, Hydrographer ; printed for R. H. Lawrie, 
53, Fleet Street, 1839. 

12 "At the place where we have settled" says the author of a 
letter in vol hi. " State Tracts of King WilHam III." " we have 
an excellent harbour surrounded with mountains, capable of 
holding a thousand sail, and land-locked and safe from all winds 
and tempests." 

1' In " A draft of y= Golden and adjacent island with part of y' 
Isthmus of Darien, as it was taken by Captain Jenefer, where y" 
Scots' West India Company were settled, most humbly inscribed 


donia, is, strictly speaking, formed by tlie points already 
mentioned, wHch lie with each other N.N.W. fW., 
andS.S.E.|E.(N.25''W., and S.25oE.), one mile distant. 
This Bay is clean, and has good deep water; the greater 
part of its coast is a beach, and near the middle of it, 
disembogues the river Aglaseniqua. The point of San 
Fulgencio is salient, scarped and clean, and it also forms 
an indent with little depth of water, bordered by man- 
groves and various Kays at its western part. 

The Channel oe Sassakdi. — " Between San Ful- 
gencio point, the great Oro Island, Piedras Islet, and 
the Mangrove Kays, which are to the west of them, 

to John Haldane of Gleneagles, Esq., one of y' Hon. Commis- 
sioners of Police Customs for North Britain," the captain says 
" between y' islands and y^ mainland there is very good ground 
where ships may be careened and anchor safe at six, seven, and 
eight fathom water. Here y* English privateers landed when 
they marched overland to the South Sea." 

In the defence of the Scotch settlement, p. 62, we find the 
following account given by one of the settlers at the time : — 
" To the westward of the promontory at the entrance of the 
river (the Aglasenigua) is a fine sandy bay, with three islands, 
one of them Golden Island, lying before it, which mate it an 
extraordinary good harbour. Golden Island is rocky and steep 
all round, except at the landing place on the South side, so that 
it is naturally fortified. The land of the Isthmus, over against 
it to the S.E., is an excellent fruitful soil. 

" West of the Island lies the largest of the three, being 
swampy, and covered with mangroves. 

" To the North of these hes the Island of Pines, covered with 
tall trees, fit for any use. From the point against these islands, for 
three leagues westward, the shore is guarded by rocks, so that a 
boat cannot land; but at the N.W. end of the rocks there is a 
very good harbour, and good riding, as has been said, in all winds, 
by some or other of these islands, which, with the adjacent shore, 
make a lovely landscape off at sea. The channel between them 
and the Isthmus, is two, three, and four miles broad, and navig- 
able from end to end ; and the ground opposite to them, with 
inland, an excellent soU, and a continued forest of stately timber 


the Channel of Sassardi is formed; the S.E. entrance 
of this channel is off and on, with four cables' length 
in extent, from edge to edge, and with from nine 
to twelve fathoms depth on oaze; and farther in, from 
eight to ten fathoms; as also between the turn of 
the bank off Piedras islet, and the Bay of Caledonia, the 
depth is from seven to fifteen fathoms; and the piece 
of sea which intervenes between this bay and the Puerto 
Escosces is of a good depth of water; but at a short 
mile S.E. by E. i E. (S. 55" E.), from Piedras Islet the 
sea breaks when the breeze blows fresh." 

From its entrance the Channel of Sassardi extends N.W. 
five miles. 

The engineer has here, then, a wide scope for selecting 
a locality for the Atlantic mouth of the canal, which 
may, thus, open any where from the S.E. end of Port 
Escosces to the N.W. entrance of the Channel of Sassardi. 
an extent of eleven nautic miles. 

Along a great extent of Port Escosces and Caledonia 
Bay, vessels can lie so close in shore that no boats 
would be necessary in the taking in or discharging 
cargo; the same great advantage also presents itself 
at several points in the Channel of Sassardi. 

Good fresh water may be obtained in abundance 
from any of the numerous streams which fall into 
these harbours, particularly from the Aglaseniqua or 

Port Escosces is entirely uninhabited, nor is there any 
settlement inland of it; at Caledonia, near the mouth 
of the Aglaseniqua, there are five huts, inhabited by a 
few Indians of the Tule tribe, and about two leagues up 
the river is another small settlement; this, however, is 


at a considerable distance westward of the projected line 
of Canal. 

From the sea-shore a plain extends for nearly two miles 
to the base of a ridge of hills," which runs parallel to the 
coast, and whose highest summit is about 350 feet. 
This ridge is not quite continuous, and unbroken, but 
is divided by tranverse valleys,'^ through which the 
Aglaseniqua, Aglatomate^ and other rivers have their 
course, and whose highest elevations do not exceed 150 

The base of this ridge is only two miles in width ; and 
from its south side, a level plain extends for thirteen miles 
to a point on the Eiver Savana, called Canasas, which is 
about twenty miles above its mouth. 

The Rivek Savana, at Canasas, has a depth of six feet 
of water, but is obstructed by ledges of a slate, called pizarra 
or killes, for four miles, down to the mouth of La Villa, up 
to which the tide reaches. At Canasas, there is a forest of 
a species of bamboo,'^ so dense as to be impenetrable; and 
above it there is a fall of two feet, when the river is low, 

1^ "These hillsare clothed with tall trees without any underwood, 
so that one may gallop conveniently among them many miles, 
free from sun and rain, unless of a great continuance. The air 
makes on the top of the trees a pleasant and melancholy musick ; 
so that one of the colony, considering the coolness, pleasant mur- 
muring of the air, and the infinite beauty of a continued natural 
arbour, called them the Shades of Love." — History of Caledonia, 
1699, p.l5. 

^'■^''The valleys are watered with rivers and perpetual clear 
springs, which are most pleasant to drink, being as soft as milk, 
and very nourishing." — History of Caledonia, 1699. 

1'= Humboldt points out the Bambusa (Bamboo) and Heliconia 
as exceptions to the loose disorder in which the different vege- 
table tribes are interspersed and blended together in the tropics ; 
" these," he says, " form continued belts." I met such a belt in 
this locality, and was diverted some miles from my course by the 
necessity of rounding it, as I could not cut through it. 


but after rains this entirely disappears. The first fall, in 
ascending the river, occurs at Caobano, a little above La 

From La Villa, where there is a depth of ten or twelve 
feet, the river is perfectly free from obstructions down to 

At Fuerte del Principe, two miles below La Villa, there 
is a single ledge of slate, visible only in a very low state of 
the river, which has here a depth of three fathoms, and a 
rise of tide of six feet. The bants of the river are elevated 
about ten feet above the level of the water, and are quite 
free from swamp. The site of the old Spanish settlement is 
here indicated by a patch of very dense scrubby bush, with- 
out high trees, on the west bank of the river ; but the only 
remains to be met with are some fragments of boiijas, or 
water-jars. Principe in lat. is 8°- 34', and long. 77°. 56' by 
my observations; it is only two or three hours' journey from 
the mouth of the river. 

The Savana River, called by the Indians, Chaparti, is 
very direct in its course, from Principe to its mouth, and 
free from sinuosites, playas, deep elbows, shoals, rocks, 
snags or other obstructions. 

Its banks, elevated several feet above the level of the 
water, are quite free from swamp, and malarious miasmata, 
consequently the endemic fevers caused by these in Chagres, 
Portobello, Limon and Panama, would not prevail in any 
settlements that may be formed in the neighbourhood of 
the Savana. Indeed it cannot be inferred that the Isthmus 
of Darien is unhealthy, because the towns on the Isthmus 
of Panama have all been settled in swampy localities, and 
in the most unfavourable positions in a sanatory point of 
view. A convincing proof of the freedom from swamp of 


the whole tract of country, from Port Escosces to the Gulf 
of San Miguel, is the total absence of musquitos, which in- 
variably infest all swampy grounds in the tropics. The 
great longevity^^ of the people of Darien, and the large pro- 
portion of very old men also attest the healthiness of the 

From Principe to the mouth of Matumagantij one mile 
S. S.W.J the river increases greatly in width and depth: 
there are some islands in this reach ; and on the west bank, 
a very large cuipo tree stands conspicuous, towering above 
the adjacent forest. 

From Matumagauti to the mouth of Lara, two miles, 
the river has a depth of four fathoms, and a rise of tide of 
ten feet. 

From Lara mouth to the islands in the second reach, four 
miles, the river is very direct in its course, with a depth of 
five or six fathoms. A ridge of hills runs parallel to each 
bank, at about two miles' distance. Just below this mouth, 
and above a widening of the river, called Eevesa de Piriaki, 

'* ' ' There was an old woman who cooked their victuals for them, 
and was very stirring about the house ; she seemed to be near 
sixty (and was Ambrosios grandmother), but on asking her age 
we were informed she was one hmdred and twenty ; we could not 
believe it, and were persuaded they must mistake in the commu- 
tation of time , but an infallible demonstration they showed to us, 
the sixth generation of this woman's body in the house; which was 
indeed very surprising ; and we were assured 'twas common 
amongst them to live 150 or 1 60 years, yet 'tis observed those of 
them who converse often with the Europeans and drink their strong 
liquors are short-lived." — Scotch Darien Papers. 

There may be seen every day in the streets of Panama a negress 
who was born before the time of Admiral Vernon's expedition, 
and has five generations living with her ; she walks about with 
the aid of a stick, and has an excellent memory ; I refer to Dr. 
Autenrieth and Dr. Theller of Panama, who often converse with 
her, for the correctness of tliis statement. See elsewhere the 
declaration of Santa Ana Ceballos, 101 years of age. 


is Cerro Piriaki, a hill of about 400 feet elevation, and above 
this there is no hill near, either bank of the Savana. Above 
the islands, Estero Corotu, Eio Corredor^ and other streams 
fall into this, ftie Calls larga, or Long Reach. 

From the islands to Areti mouth, S.S.E., three miles, the 
river has great width and depth : a ridge of hill here runs 
along each bank, at about two miles' distance. 

Junction of the Savana and Tuyra. — From 
Areti mouth to the junction of the Savana and Tuyra 
rivers, S., four miles, the river has a uniform width of two 
miles, and a depth of from eight to nine fathoms. 

On the west bank of this reach is Punta Machete, with a 
small shoal above it, called Bajo Grande, and one below it, 
Bajo Chico. Both of these are close in shore, and oysters 
are found on them. 

The Savana Mouth. — From the west point of the 
Savana mouth, in lat. 8°. 21', long. 77°. 54', the land rises 
into a ridge of hill of about 300 feet elevation, running 
N. for about four miles parallel to the river, from which it 
is separated by a strip of level land half a mile wide. 
There is a quebra, or rivulet in the ridge, called Lagaiadilla, 
which has plenty of fresh water in the driest season. 

Behind Nisperal, the east point of the Savana mouth, 
there is a low ridge of hills; from the north bank of Iglesias, 
also, a narrow ridge follows the course of the Savana for 
about three miles. This is the Cerro Titichi, which , gave 
its name to a mission of Indians at the mouth of the Chu- 
quanaqua, the last survivor of whom is a man named 
Marcellino, who resides at Pinogana, on the Tuyra. On 
the north bank of Iglesias is Quebra de Tigre, and on the 
Savana, above its mouth, is Quebraita la Monera, where 
fresh water may be obtained. 


At tlie moiitli of the Savana there are nine fathoms, at 
low water, and the tide rises from twenty-one to twenty- 
seven feet. 

Boca Chica and Boca Grande, the fnouths of the 
Tuyra, are perfectly safe entrances^ and have a depth of 
thirteen to twenty fathoms of water respectively. 

The Gulf of San Miguel has good depth of water, and 
would hold the shipping of the world. Its mouth, between 
Gape San Lorenzo on the north, and Punta Garachine on 
the south, is ten miles across, and opens into the Pacific, 
quite outside the Bay of Panama. Its direction inward is 
N.E. fifteen miles to Boca Chica. Inside the Bay of 
Garachine, the shores of the gulf approach each other, and 
the width diminishes to four miles, between Punta Brava 
and Morro Patino, with a depth of from nine to twenty 
fathoms, but again increases, and then diminishes to Boca 

Close to Cape San Lorenzo, is a small shoal, called 
El Buey, which may be easily avoided. There are several 
islands in the Gulf, as Iguana, Cedro, Islas de San Di^go, 
etc., etc., which are all safe of approach. On the north 
side, the rivers Congo, Buenavista; and on the south, the 
Moguey, Guaca, Taimita, and Sambii, open into the Gulf; 
while the Tuyra and Savana fall into its eastern end, the 
Ensenada del Darien, called by the Granadians " Boca de 
Provincia," or Mouth of the Province. 

The best site in the Gulf for the erection of a light-house 
would be on Morro Patino. 

Vegetable Products of the Soil. — In the forest 
on this route many valuable varieties of woods'* are to be 
found, of which I may specify the following : 

'* Messrs. Chalmer and Fleming, brokers, of Liverpool, in a 
highly-interesting work, p^iblished by them in 1850, entitled 


Mora {excelsa) wliich towers to a height of 120 feet, is 
equal to teak, not subject to dry rot, and excellently adapted 

" the Mahogany Tree," speak of the vegetable productions of 
the country : " Comparatively with the vast extent of this im- 
mense Isthmus, the whole may be said to be little known to 
Europeans. Its surface is covered with the densest forests of 
mahogany and other gigantic trees, with an undeirwood of many 
valuable tropical shrubs and plants, so matted together, that it is 
difficult for parties on foot to make a track into the interior. The 
soil of all these countries is, for the most part, exceedingly fertile. 
In the plains, and especially in the valleys, it is a dark rich mould, 
of alluvial formation, which might serve as manure for lands in other 
parts of the world. To this fertility of the soil, and to the 
gradations of temperature, may be attributed the variety and 
abundance of the productions, which embrace nearly all those of 
the West Indies, besides some that are peculiar to this country. 
Of these the most valuable are Indigo, Cochineal, Tobacco, Cocoa, 
Vanilla, and Wax, Sarsaparilla, Balsam of Peru, and the Amber 
Tree, Ginger, etc., which are staple commodities. Indian Com, 
Eice, Yams, and Plantains, grow abundantly with little care. The 
Sugar Cane thrives luxuriantly, also the Coffee plant; and a 
species of Cotton grows wild, which the Indians manufacture into 
beautiful fabrics. A great variety of Medicinal Plants are col- 
lected, as well as Gums, Spices, and Balsams, amongst which the 
most in esteem are the Copal, Acacia, Quitini, Quapinal, Incense, 
Chira-ai, and the Gum of the Chesnut tree ; and an oily sub- 
stance is also extracted from the fruit of this tree, from which 
candles are made, as fine as those of white wax. The fruits of 
this region are also incomparably fine, being of every kind to be 
found in the West Indies ; and almost all European vegetables 
can be raised without any trouble. But what is most important' 
and worthy of all attention in these parts, is the extent of its vast 
and interminable forests, replete with the most valuable timber- 
trees already known to commerce, besides an infinite variety of 
woods desirable for the dyers, cabinet-makers, house and ship 
builders, the very names of which are scarcely known to botanists, 
although the Indians have taken advantage of them for their 
primitive manufactures, and for the construction of their canoes 
and warlike instruments, esteeming them for their hardness, 
tenacity, elasticity, or durability, according to their respective 
appUcations. Of the Dye-woods, it is scarcely necessary to men- 
tion Logwood, Fustic, Brazil Wood, and Nicaragua, already 
so well known. The San Juan and the Poro yield a beautiful 
yellow, and the Ammona Reticulata, though perfectly white, 
changes colour on being cut or slit, and yields a clear brilliant 


for ship-building; its -wood is so close and cross-grained, 
that it is difficult to split it. 

Espave, a hard wood, adapted for ship-building. 

Amarillo de Guayaquil, not subject to dry rot. 

Eoble, or oak, fit for ship-building. 

Maderone, a durable wood, used for scantling. 

Corotu, grows to a height of 100 feet; insects will not 
attack it. 

Cedra CeboUa, or Onion Cedar, very durable; gives 36 
feet pieces : insects will not attack it. 

Tangare, like mahogany. 

Canassa, a species of bamboo, growing in very dense 

Bongo, a cork wood. 

Hobo, 120 feet high; hard and durable. 

Balsas, a white cork wood, for rafts. 

Alfahilla, for scantling — durable. 

Yalla, very durable, and not subject to dry rot. 

Eed Mangrove, very durable, for ship-building. 

Majagua, used by the Indians for making ropes. 

Cucuwa, used for making mats and blankets. 

Cedro Eeal, or Royal Cedar; very abundant. 

Bombax Ceiba, or Silk Cotton tree, grows to a height of 
100 feet; its wood makes excellent canoes. 

red, which is easily extracted. But the productions of the forest 
are those which, in the first instance, must fix particular attention 
in this publication, more especially the trees of large growth. 
The following are such as are already well known to the wood 
trade in this port" (Liverpool), " and admit of their qualities and 
uses being thoroughly appreciated. They are — Oak, Ash, Beech, 
Cedar, Firs, Larches, Pitch Pines, Green Heart, Mora, Santa 
Maria, West India Teaks, Rosewood, Ebony, Satin-wood, Sabicue, 
Lignum-vitse, Lance-wood, Spars, Maples, and Mahogany." 


Liana, Vejuco, or Bush Rope; a species of vine which, 
attains an enormous size, ascending the highest trees, 
passing from one to the other, and forming festoons many 
hundred feet long. 

Besides these, Mahogany, Lignum Vitae, Fustic, and 
Caoutchouc abound in the forest.'^ 

The Caoutchouc and Fustic are very deserving of atten- 
tion, and should further ejcplorations reveal the existence 
of Gutta Percha, I should not be surprised. 

Of medicinal plants, the Cedron deserves notice, as it 
has been found very valuable in intermittent fevers, and 
lately in cholera; the Indians consider it a specific against 
the effects of snake-bites. 

Sarsaparilla, VaniUa, Honey, Wax, V^egetable Ivory, and 
several Gum Resins are among the vegetable products of 

Plantains attain a large size, and are fit to cut in 
nine months; Sugar Cane is cut in nine months; Indian 
corn ripens in three months, and all other tropical fruits 
are equally precocious. 

19 To shew that there is a market on the Pacific for the woods 
growing in the Savana, I may instance a fact incidentally men- 
tioned by Colonel Lloyd in his " Notes on the Isthmus of 
Panama." " On the banks of the Indio (a river faUing into the sea 
about ten leagues east of Panama) an English gentleman, resident 
in Panama, has erected a saw-mill capable of sawing from fifteen 
to twenty thousand boards annually. An inexhaustible supply 
of the finest timber is in its immediate vicinity; and the fertility 
of the soil where cleared, is such that a small portion, with the labour 
of two men only, affords an ample supply of every article of sub- 
sistence for the whole estabhshment. Several roads lead to it 
from the neigbouring villages; and one has been formed from a 
place on the united stream of the Pacora and Indio, called Sam- 
baja, where the largest class of vessels remain. The boards are 
rafted down the river and have a ready sale, not only in Panama, 
but also in Guayaquil and Peru, in the latter of which there is a 
scarcity of wood." 

D 2 


The Atlantic coast, for miles long, in various parts is 
lined with cocoa-nut trees ; the Cocoa (Theohroma Cacao) , of 
Darien, was considered by the old Spaniards, the best in 
South America. 

Cotton. — In some of the villages of Darien^ and at the 
mouth of Congo river, the Cotton Plant produces larger pods 
than any I have seen in Demerara or Berbice. I would con- 
sider the plains on the banks of the Savana, and between 
that river and the Cordillera of the coast, excellently 
adapted to the cultivation of Cotton on a large scale. 

Sugar, coflFee, cotton, cocoa^ tobacco, indigo, sarsaparilla, 
vanilla, plantains, yams, cassava, and other products, which 
would flourish in this rich virgin soil, are amongst the most 
valuable in commerce, whilst the proximity to the canal 
would afford a ready market : oranges, shaddocks, limes, 
lemons, pine-apples, nisperos or sapodillos, bananas, and 
mangoes, are cultivated with success in the Indian settle- 
ments, and, no doubt, the vine and olive^" would, if intro- 
duced, thrive equally well. 

The bamboo, which grows in dense thickets, would be 
most valuable in the hands of Chinese artificers, who are 
skilful in applying it to a variety of useful purposes ; • it 
may be expected that, ere long, there will be an iramigra- 

^^ The Spanish Government always discouraged in its colonies 
the cultivation of the vine, the olive, the mulberry tree, and the 
plants producing hemp and flax. While Humboldt was in New 
Spain, an order came from Madrid to grub up all the stocks of 
vines in the northern part of the kingdom, where they had been 
cultivated with so much success as to give alarm to the merchants 
of Cadiz, by the diminished consumption of wine from the mother 
country. In 1811, there was but one olive plantation in New 
Spain, and that belonged to the Archbishop of Mexico. Parties 
of soldiers, at the same time, used to go about the country in 
search of tobacco-fields to destroy them as injurious to the King's 


tiOn of Chinese to tLe Isthmus, many of that people having 
already found their way to Panama. 

The researches of the Botanist in this hitherto unexplored 
region would be sure of an ample reward, an entirely new 
field lying open, here, for the discovery of new species to 
add to the domain of his science. 

Animals. — The Peccary or Wild Hog, Cogue or Deer 
of the species known by the name of Wirribocerra in 
Mexico, Conejo, Sr Eabbit, Macho del Monte, a sort of Ass, 
Monkeys, Perezas or Sloths, Hormigueros or Anteaters, 
Iguanas, "Wild Turkeys, Parrots, Macaws, Wild Ducks, 
Pigeons, etc. abound in the forest. 

There is abundance of fish on both coasts of the Isthmus, 
known to the Indians by the names of the Berugati 
(fifty pounds' weight), Eobalo, Bagre, Parvo, Hurel, Barbu, 
Corvina, Hurello, Mero, Cassou, Cominata, and Kayo, etc. 
All these are good eating, and easily caught. 

Oysters are plentifiil about the shores of the Gulf of San 
Miguel, and at the mouth of the Savana. 

There are extensive beds of pearl oysters near the shores 
of the Island of San Miguel, or Isla del Eey, the largest of 
the Pearl islands, in the Bay of Panama, just outside the 
Gulf; and the natives of the villages on the island occupy 
themselves very profitably in diving for them. 

Turtle are very plentiful on the Atlantic coast, and' the 
Indians there carry on a trade in tortoiseshell. 

Minerals. — Among the minerals of Darien, it is not 
unlikely that coal may be found. Indeed, it was the opinion 
of Sir E. Parry, and Mr. Wheelwright, that the veins of 
coal in Chiriqui and Veraguas,' bisected the whole isthmus. 
Coals. — In July, 1851, I saw some specimens of coal at 
Lorica, on the river Sinu, which had been obtained near 


Clenaga de Oro, higlier up the river. The Sinu is the 
next river eastward of the Atrato. 

On the hanks of the Carare, a branch of the Magdalena, 
coal has also been found, and on my passage to Honda, 
last April, I met a gentleman who was proceeding to Velez, 
near the head of the Carare, to hire labourers to work in 
the coal mines. I have further been assured by Mr. Reid, 
late of Bogota, of the existence of coal on the banks of the 
Magdalena itself, near Conejo, a little belbw Honda. 

Coal of excellent quality is obtained in the neighbourhood 
of the plain of Bogota, and between the village of Soachi 
and the great fall of Tequendama,^^ twelve .miles S.W. of 
Bogota, and is used in Mr. Wilson's ironworks, at Paeho, 
near the salt-mines of Zipaquira. Between Facatativa and 
Villeta, also, on the road from Bogota to Honda, there is 
an extensive coal district, which will be of great impor- 
tance in the future operations of the Magdalena Steam 
Navigation Company. 

Thus there are coals both to the westward and eastward 
of Darien, and there is little doubt that Sir E. Parry and 
Mr. Wheelwright will be found to have been correct in their 

The existence of coal in Veraguas, Chiriqui,^^ and Costa 

21 Perpendicular height, 504 feet. 

'^^ Messrs. Whiting and Shuman, in their " Report," dated 
April 1, 185] , " on the Coal Formation of the Island of Muerto, 
near David, in Cbiriqui," say — " We found the Muerto coal to 
burn equally as free as the other (the very best Enghsh coal), 
emitting a bright, beautiful flame, with as much bitumen." This 
coal contains upwards of 58 per cent, of solid carbon. 

At the Island of Muerto, Messrs. Whiting and Shuman also 
found monuments and columns, covered with hieroglyphics, simi- 
lar to those discovel'ed in Yucatan by Mr. Stephens. At San 
Agustin, and in the forests of Laboyos and Timand, about 2° 
.north, near the sources of the Magdalena, there are columns. 


'lica,^* on the Magdalena and Sinu Elvers, in Vancouver's 
Island, the Aleoutian Archipelago, Amoy, and the Island 
of Formosa, on the Coast of China, is a great point in 
favour of steamers proceeding from the Isthmus to China, 
by grand circle sailing. 

1 believe that coals exist also in the Gallapagos Islands. 

Gold. — Of the auriferous character of the soil in many 
parts of Darien, I satisfied myself by tracing out some of the 
mines formerly worked by the Spaniards. During my late visit 
to Bogota, I learned, from returns existing in the archives 
there, that the King's five per cent, from one of these 
mines averaged annually 100,000 castellanos or 300,000 
dollars.^'' It is not unlikely that the necessary cutting may 

idols, altars, images of the sun, and other evidences of the 
former existence there of a great nation now extinct. 

"Of the quantity of coal that can be obtained" in Chiriqui, 
" no doubt can be entertained that it is sufficient to supply the 
steamers on the Pacific for ages." — Report of W. W. Ridley, 
Esq., C.E., New York. 

23 "A recent discovery lias been made at the village of Tarraba 
of a large bed of coal, upwards of six miles in length and 150 
feet in breadth ; as well as on the route in other localities." — 
Authorised " Costa Rica Report." 

" The discovery of the mine of coal, respecting which you 
enquire, is certain. There is not only one, but many, and all of 
excellent quality, for I have seen specimens of them at the house 
of the President ; some of them appeared to me very superior." 
— Letter from Senor A. Ximenez, merchant of San Jose. 

24 « Very rich mines," says Captain Fitzroy (p. 25), " were then 
(at the time of the Scottish colony — 1 698) worked in that dis- 
trict ; but so harassed were the Spaniards by repeated incursions 
of the Buccaneers, by the Indians, and by the alarming attempt of 
the Scotch to colonise so close to the real El Dorado that early 
in the last century, the mines of Cana and others in the neigh- 
bourhood were concealed and abandoned. The miners and their 
strong guard of soldiers were withdrawn, and all the forts dis- 
mantled. No traces of Cana are visible. Santa Maria is likewise 
overgrown and hidden. Only a few straggling gol:*.- washers 
now visit that neighbourhood occasionally." 

The mines of Cana (the richest ever worked by the Spaniards) 


develope the existence of lich veins of gold, and partly 
repay the expenses of the canal. 

The rich gold mines on the banks of the Andagada and 
Bebara, branches of the Atrato, have lately been investiga- 
ted by my friend, Mr. Vincent (now on his way to 
England), who, to reach them from Bogota, crossed the 
pass of Quindiu, 11,500 feet above the level of the sea, and 
traversed the valley of the Cauca, and the province of 
Antioquia; whilst Dr. Florentino Gonzales has lately pur- 
chased the titles of the Frontino, Juan Criollo, and Bolivia 
gold mines in Antioquia. 

The geological formation of the country will probably be 
found to be, throughout, as it is in parts of the neighbour- 
hood, micaceous schist overlying granite, in depth. Should 
such be the case, it is easy to understand why this district 
is free from earthquakes, and why it should be a gold- 
bearing region.^' 

of which Captain Fitzroy makes mention, were those which I 
more particularly sought out in my explorations, and the locali- 
ties of which I ascertained precisely. 

25 <<j;i Panameiio" of the 8th Dec. 1849, contains my report of 
the extensive gold diggings, which I ascertained to exist in the 
country between Panama and Pacora, about thirty miles to the 
eastward of it, and about twenty miles west of the Chepo. In 
the course of this journey I forded the rivers Matarnillo, Abajo 
(on the banks of which deer are plentiful) Lalaha, Mariprieta, San 
Bartolom6, and Juan Dias ; aud saw evidences in several places of 
the mining operations of the old Spaniards. The gold dust which 
I extracted was twenty-two carats fine. There was a settlement 
once established on the Pacora by Mr. M'Gregor, formerly 
British Consul at Panama, and Don Juan Ergote, an Andalusian, 
who used to cut Mora timber and export it from the river to 
Guayaquil and Callao. Near San Bartolom6 is the " Cerro del 
Pilon del Oro," or Mountain of the Block of Gold, the highest 
hill in that district ; whence, they say, a Spaniard from Lima 
once extracted a block of gold ; it is believed that another may yet 
be found there. 

" It is no longer a matter of doubt that gold can be procured 


Emigration and Colonisation consequent on 
THIS Undertaking. — So luxuriantly fertile is the 

in the mines on the Isthmus, within a day's travel of Panama. 
Judge Shattuck, of Mississippi, a gentleman of high character and 
standing, and Dr. Cullen, a gentleman acquainted with the 
mining operations in California, have been prospecting, and give 
it as their opinion that the ' dust' exists in particles sufficiently 
large, and of a quality to jastify extended operations. We have 
seen some of the dust procured by these gentlemen, and have no 
hesitation in asserting it to be the real stuff. Jewellers and 
dealers in the precious metals pronounce it fully equal to the 
productions of California. Large numbers of the Americans, 
impressed with the truth of the above statement, and the fortune 
which it promises in perspective, have determined not to go to 
California, but content themselves with the gains they can make 
here. May success crown their efforts and a golden treasure be 
their reward. The resources and destiny of Panama are not yet 
half developed or foreshadowed." — Panama Star, December 19, 
1849. , 

" There is now in Panama a gentleman, a miner, just arrived 
from the interior — the diggings of Veraguas, who showed us a 
rich specimen of gold, 22 carats fine. He relates that his com- 
pany, a party of forty Americans, are extracting from five to six 
dollars' worth of this gold per day. This gold, beautiful and of 
rich grain, is unhke the dust, but, on an average, will be found as 
large as a grain of rice. This fact proves that our miners of the 
Isthmus are not experienced with digging operations, because the 
value of the powder or dust, which they do not gather, is equal 
to half of their daily produce. The success in digging, so far, is 
promising ; but when the explorations become more evident, we 
expect to hear of more profitable researches. One thing is self- 
evident — living is cheap on this part of the Isthmus, the climate 
is fine and healthy ; and as it is near Panama, where they can 
easily ship or dispose of their earnings, we think five or six 
doUars here, with the low price of living, is fully equivalent to 
ten or fifteen dollars in California, where everything is high, and 
the country is sterile and unhealthy. Let .the gold adventurers 
think of these things, and give the Isthmus a trial before they go 
further." — 2%e Panama Echo, Feb. 8th, 1850. 

The " Panama Star " of 14th December last, quoted in the 
" Times " of January 1 1th, gives the result of Major Doss's 
explorations in the vicinity of the river Chepo, and its principal 
branch, the Terable. Major Doss found gold in all the streams 
■ in that district, and each panful of earth yielded from 25 to 30 
cents. One person, Mr. Sennett, washed out in one day five 


whole country on. this route, and so manifold are its 
agricultural advantages, that, totally irrespective of the 
project of a Canal, I would most strongly recommend 
it to the attention of the colonist, as presenting, from 
the valuable nature of its products, and the precocity 
of their growth, a more eligible locality for settling; and as 
affording a greater certainty of a speedy return for capital 
and labour, and a surer prospect of the attainment of 
affluence, than any other agricultural country. 

Besidesthe great benefits which the opening of this canal 

ounces. Major D. discovered the old mine of Sousou, formerly 
celebrated for its riches, in the ruins of which an immense deal 
of gold, which was ready for transportation, when it caved in 
since 1821, is said to lie buried. He brought to Panama some 
sugar-canes of very large dimensions ; and speaks most highly nf 
the vast returns that may safely be calculated upon from the 
cultivation of coffee, oranges, and cocoa-nuts, etc., on the banks 
of the Chepo or BaUano. 

The backwardness of agriculture in Spanish America has been 
usually attributed to its mines of gold and silver. This error is 
successfully refuted by Humboldt. He admits that in some dis- 
tricts, as in Choco and other parts of New Granada, the people 
leave their fields uncultivated, while they mis-spend their time in 
searching for gold-dust in the beds of rivers. It is also true that 
in Cuba, Caracas, and Guatemala, where there are no mines, 
many highly cultivated tracts of country are to be foupd. But, 
on the other hand, the agriculture of Peru is not inferior to that 
of Cumana or Guiana ; and in Mexico, the best cultivated dis- 
trict is the territory extending from Salamanca to Guanaxuato 
and Leon, in the midst of the most productive mines of the 
world : so far from mining being prejudicial to agriculture, no 
sooner is a mine discovered and wrought, than cultivation is seen 
in its neighbourhood. Towns and villages are built. Provisions 
are wanted for the • workmen, and subsistence for the cattle 
employed about the mine. Whatever the surrounding country 
can be made to produce, is raised from it in abundance — a 
flourishing agriculture is established, which not unfrequently 
survives the prosperity of the mines, to which it was indebted for 
its origin. The husbandman remains and cultivates his fields 
after the miner, who had at first set him to work, is gone to 
another district, in search of a more abundant or less exhausted 


■will confer on passengers and merchants, it will lead to the 
colonisation of the very fertile lands adjacent. When these 
lands shall have been cultivated, and the canal shall be open, 
ships passing through so luxuriantly fruitful a country will 
be able to re-victual at a small expense, and thus have a 
n^uch larger portion of their capacity available for the stow- 
age of merchandise. 

During the operations on the Canal, essential collateral 
benefits will be derived from the colonies about to be 
settled by two companies lately formed; viz., the Chiriqui 
Road Company, whose object is the making of a road 
across the western extremity of the Isthmus through the 
province of Chiriqui,^* in New Granada, and the Costa Eica 
Company, who propose to make a road across the Isthmus, 
through the adjacent republic of Costa Rica ; the colonisa- 
tion of the fertile lands granted to those companies will 
ensure a constant and ample supply of fresh provisions to the 
labourers employed on the Canal. 

Another of the immediate results of the opening of a road 

^^ " Look at these immense plains, covered only by grazing 
cattle, with little or no cultivation, though from the oak region 
of the Cordilleras down to the mangroves on the sea-side, the 
industrious farmer could select just exactly the soil and tempera- 
ture he requires. One who has seen the Old World, with its 
overburthened population — a population of industrious moral 
families, who ask no other favour from God and their fellow-men 
than permission to ' earn their bread by the sweat of their brow ' 
— would feel, I say, that it is a pity so much fine land, and so 
accessible, should be barren, for want of hands to accept the 
bounty so freely offered. How many cold, shivering beings could 
become happy here, where only wander undomesticated cattle, 
that produce neither milk nor cheese ! Here it would puzzle a 
healthy man to die of hunger. The corn and plantain-tree 
feed the poor native, almost without any care on his part ; and if 
his thatched hut does not leak, he merrily bids ' dull care begone.' " 
— Report of Dr. Robert Mac Dowall, residing at David, Province 
of Chiriqui. 


and canal will be the colonisation of the elevated table- 
lands of the interior provinces of New Granada. These 
plateaux or elevated valleys, between the ridges of the 
Andes, present a healthy climate and a virgin soil, unen- 
cumbered with forest, on which, at certain elevations, the 
productions both of the tropics and of temperate climates 
would flourish in juxtaposition. Here there is no winter, 
but a perpetual spring reigns, and the farmer may reap two, 
three, or even four crops a year, wheat arriving at maturity 
in seventy and potatoes in eighty days. This country, there- 
fore, offers to the emigrant greater advantages and to the 
capitalist a richer field for investment than any other district 
in the world. 

At the elevation of 1788 feet, mean temperature 76°, 
wheat, as I have before said, is reaped in 70 days from 
the sowing, and yields three or four times as much as in 
northern countries; at 3576 feet, mean temperature 70°, 
it is reaped in 100 days; and at 4950 feet, mean tempe- 
rature 65°, in four months: its cultivation ceases at the 
height of 9,675 feet, and it absolutely ceases to produce 
at the elevation of 10,727 feet, mean temperature 48°. In 
the provinces of Merida and Truxillo, in Venezuela, 
excellent barley grows at the height of 9,351 feet, mean 
temperature 57°. At 3,300 feet elevation, potatoes are 
excellent, and are dug in four and a half months. The 
produce of the potato is twice that of the vegetable in any 
part of Europe. Some of the fruits of the hot valleys will 
grow at considerable degrees of elevation, as the Plantain 
(Musa Paradisiaca), the staple food of the tropics, which 
will grow even as high as 5,502 feet, mean temperature 
66° ; and one species, the Cambure (Musa Sapientium), pro- 
duces fruit at the height of 7,701 feet, mean temperature 


61°. The Yucca or Cassava (latropha Manihot) will also 
grow at 7,701 feet height. From the immense pro- 
ductiveness of the Plantain, a small spot of land cultivated 
suffices to supply the wants of several families. The city 
of Bogota, the capital of the republic of New Granada, is 
situated on a plain 8,600 feet above the level of the sea, 
mean temperature 57°, and has a population of about 

The History op Darien and the Attempts 
TO Cross it.— A rapid sketch of the history of Darien 
may account for the ignorance that has hitherto prevailed 
regarding this inagnificent coimtry. 

The first settlement effected in Darien was Santa Maria 
de el Antigua, at the mouth of the Atrato; founded in 
1509 by the licentiate Enciso, by the advice of Vasco 
Nunez de Baltao, who had escaped from Santo Domingo, 
and embarked on board Enciso's vessel, concealed in an 
empty wine pipe. On 26th September, 1513, Vasco Nunez 
discovered the Pacific Ocean, at the Gulf of San Miguel, 
which he named so from having discovered it on St. Mi- 
chael's day, and was afterwards beheaded by Pedro Arias 
DavUa, who was sent from Spain to supersede him. 

The next settlement was Ada or Agla, at the mouth 
of the Aglaseniqua or Caledonia Eiver, founded by Gabriel 
de Eojas in 1514, and fortified in 1516, by Davila. 

In 1532, Agla and the whole of Darien were abandoned 
for Nombre de Dios and Panama, which was settled by 
Davila, after the conquest of Tubanama, its cacique, by 
Vasco Nunez. 

Although Vasco Nunez conquered the cacique of Carreto, 

^7 From this city the magnificent snow-capped summit of 
Tolima, upwards of 1 8,000 feet high, is plainly visible. 


(whose daughter he married), Comagre, Ponca, Quarequa, 
Chiapes, Zumaco and Pocorosa, in his expeditions across 
the Isthmus, yet the Spaniards did not effect permanent 
settlements in Darien until acentury later. 

In 1680, the buccaneers crossed the Isthmus by the 
Chuquanaqua, and took the town of Real de Santa Maria 
on the Tuyra. 

The following is the account in Basil Eingrose's MS. 
in the Ayscough Collection (British Museum): — "On the 
5th of April, 1680, 331 buccaneers, most of them English, 
passed over from Golden Island and landed in Darien, each 
man provided with four cakes of bread, called dough-boys, 
with a fusil, a pistol, and a hanger. They began their journey, - 
marshalled in divisions, with distinguishing flags, under 
their several commanders, Bartholomew Sharp and his men 
taking the lead. Many Darien Indians kept them company, 
as their confederates, and supplied them with plantains, 
fruit, and venison, for which payment was made in axes, 
hatchets, knives, needles, beads, and trinkets, all of ■which 
the buccaneers had taken care to come well provided with. 
Among the Darien Indians in company were two chiefs, 
who went by the names of Captain Andreas and Captain 
Antonio. The commencement of their march was through 
the skirt of a wood, which having passed, they proceeded 
about a league by the side of a bay, and afterwards about 
two leagues directly up a woody valley, where was an 
Indian house and plantation by the side of a river. Here 
they took up their lodgings for the night, those who could 
not be received in the house building huts. The Indians 
were earnest in cautioning them not to sleep on the grass, 
on account of adders. This first day's journey discouraged 
four of the buccaneers, and they returned to the ships. 


Stones were found in tie river, wkicli, on being broken, 
sbone witb sparks of gold. These stones, tbey were told, 
were driven down from tbe neighbouring mountains by 
torrents during the rainy season. The next morning, at 
sunrise, they proceeded on their journey, labouring up a 
steep hill, which they surmounted about three in the after- 
noon, and at the foot on the other side they rested on the 
bank of a river, which Captain Andreas told them ran into 
the South Sea, and was the same by which the town of 
Santa Maria was situated." This was the Chuquanaqua 
which they reached by crossing the steep hill, called Loma 
Deseada, behind Carreto Bay (see p. 54), a hill considerably 
higher than that behind Caledonia Bay and Port Escoscds. 
It will be seen, by reference to the map, that the buccaneers 
took a course eastward of the route to the Savana, and got 
upon higher ground. 

In 1681, Surgeon Lionel Wafer, who was one of the 
original party of the Buccaneers, that crossed the Isthmus 
iirom Caledonia Bay, by the Chuquanaqua into the Gulf of 
San Miguel, having scorched his knee by the accidental 
explosion of some gunpowder, and being left behind, on his 
return back, again crossed the Isthmus from the mouth of 
the Congo, in the Gulf of San Miguel, to the mouth of 
Concepcion river, near San Bias Bay. 

In 1685, the gold mines of Darien were closed by Eoyal 
Decree (see p. 58.) 

The following is the translation of the decree : — 

" Year 1685. Eoyal decree. March 12th.— That the 
President of Panama break up and destroy the mines of 
gold that exist in the vicinity of the rivers of the province 
of Darien, because the coveting of them has induced the pirates 
to undertake the transit from the sea of the north to the sea 


of the south by those rivers, to tlie prejudice of the public 
cause — and that the Viceroy of Peru co-operate in. it ' 
(vid. t. iii. n. 7 of the Archives of the viceroyalty of Peru, 
at Lima). 

Deckees against Bcccaneees. — There are most 
stringent Decrees in the above Archives against Buccaneers 
on this Isthmus, dated 27th September, 1663; 31st Decem- 
ber, 1672; 31st July, 1683; 26th September, 1686; and 
14th November, 1690. 

In 1698, the Scotch colony settled oh the promontory 
outside of Port Escosces, and was starved out in 1699, by 
the infamous orders of William III., actuated by jealousy, 
and influenced by Spanish and Dutch intrigues. The 
project of colonization was started by Paterson, the founder 
of the Bank of England, from information given him by 
Surgeon Lionel Wafer. 

In 1719, the Indians rose against the Spaniards, and the 
few doctrinas, or missions that had been established were 
broken up. I find in Don Antonio de Ulloa and Don 
Juan Jorge, the Spanish Academicians' " Viaje," that pre- 
vious to this date there were doctrinas in Matumaganti and 

In 1740, peace was made with the Indians by Lieut.-Gen. 
Don Dionisio Martinez de la Vega: and Don Sebastian de 
Eslaba^ viceroy of Santa F^ senfto North Darien two 
Jesuits, Fathers Salvador Grande, and Pedro Fabro; and 
the President of Panama sent to the south, Fathers Matias 
Alvarez, and Claudio Escobar, who formed the settlements 
of Molineca, Balsas, Tucuti, Chuquanaqua, Cupe, and 
Yavisa; but had scarcely succeeded in forming these mis- 
sions, when the Indians deserted them, and the fathers with 
difficulty escaped with their lives. 


In 1784, a junta was convened in Bogota by the viceroy 
and archbishop^ Don Antonio Caballero y Gongora, when 
instructions were issued to establish forts at Mandinga, 
Concepcion, Carolina (in Caledonia Bay), and Cayman. 
The command was entrusted to De la Torre, and with him 
were associated Brigadier General Don Antonio de Arebalo, 
and Garcia de Villalba ; these forts were established in 
1785, and the same year Lieut.-Colonel Don Andres de 
Arisa, governor of Darien, founded Fuerte del Principe 
with 200 men. 

Don Aeisa's Peojected Road. — Arisa projected a 
road from Principe to the mouth of the Sucubti, on 
the east bank of the Chuquanaqua, and thence to 
Carolina. He procured with much difficulty the consent 
of the Indians to the opening of the road, through the aid 
of Captain Suspani, or Urruchurchu, the chief of Sucubti. 
Carrera was sent with 300 men of the Princesa regiment 
(white soldiers), to open the road, but went to Panama, 
leaving the work unfinished; and it appears that the road 
never was actually made. The only person who ever crossed 
the Isthmus from Carolina to Principe was adjutant Milla;^^ 
but only once, as, subsequent to his crossing, he had to go 
to Panama and Portobello, to get a passage to Carolina. 

The route proposed, by Arisa, from information given 
him by Suspani, and the same by which Suspani guided 
Milla, was, to ascend the Aglatomate or Aglaseniqua, one 
hour; then to ascend the ravine of the Cordilleras, to the 
head- waters of the Sucubti, an eight hours' journey; then 
to go down the Chuquanaqua, half a day by water, or one 
day by land, and turning to the right for six hours, over 

28 See his Diary in the Appendix. 


ground qiiite level, to reach Principe. The Spaniards 
endeavoured to found Miraflores at the mouth of the Suoubti, 
where Suspani resided; and on the plain between the Chu- 
quanaqua and the Savana, they proposed to found Betanzas 
as a central station. 

Matos, governor of Darien in Arisa's absence, and the 
engineer Dbnoso, were the only persons who held a second 
opinion on the subject. They recommended descending 
the Chuquanaqua to Yavisa, and then crgssing to Principe, 
evidently a much longer route than that of Arisa. 

None of them had any idea of a direct route iiom Fuerte del 
Principe to Carolina, and any further progress in the know- 
ledge of the country was stopped by the withdrawal of all 
the establishments in 1790, in consequence of the treaty of 
peace (see p. 63) ; since when, the Isthmus of Darien has sunk 
into such utter oblivion, that previous to my first visit to it 
in 1849, though I made very extensive enquiries in Panama, 
I could not find a single person who had the slightest 
knowledge of it, except the governor, Don Jose de Obaldia,^' 
now Vice-President of the Republic, who strongly recom- 
mended me to make explorations in that isthmus, and was 
fully of my opinion that somewhere there 1 should find a 
canal route. 

The old people in Darien have a perfect recollection of 
the attempts made by Arisa, Donoso, and Matos to open a 
road to the Atlantic; and one of them, Eulalio Arva, of 
Chapigana, now dead, informed me that he accompanied 
his father, who was a barqueano, or boatman of Donoso's, 
when he and five engineers from Spain surveyed the Chu- 
quanaqua, and afterwards ascended the Savana as far as 
Principe^ the Indians having prevented their further pro- 

29 Who, however, never was in Darien. 


gress. He also saw Suspani when he came to Yavisa, to 
•make peace with the Spaniards and be baptised, and further 
stated that the people at Principe could hear the gun fired 
at Carolina. 

Mr. Vincent, a gentleman of great talents, who has co' 
operated with me for two years in the promotion of this 
project, and accompanied me to Bogota, remained there 
after I left, copying documents, relative to the history of 
Darien, existing in the archives of that city, and collected 
a vast amount of interesting information, which he will 
no doubt publish on his return. 

Genekal Description of the Isthmus — Its 
Coasts and Rivers. — It will be necessary here to give 
a short description of the Isthmus of Darien, generally, in 
order to convey some idea of a country of which so Very 
little is known. 

The Isthmus of Darien, according to old Spanish maps, 
is separated from that of Panama by a line drawn from Cape 
San Bias to the mouth of Chepo river, in the Bay of 
Panama, and may be regarded as divided from the province 
of Choco, by a line drawn from the mouth of Suriguilla 
river, which falls into the Culata del Golfo, or bottom of 
the Gulf of Darien, to the mouth of the Rio Jurador, of 
Rio de Hambre, which falls into the Port of Pines, forty 
miles S.S.E. of Garachine. In the time of the old Spaniards, 
it formed a province, and was a distinct territory 6f the 
Republic of Kew Granada, until June 22, 1850, when it 
was reduced to be a canton of the province of Panama, in 
that Republic. 

Coast of DaeiSn on the Pacific. — Between 
Chepo, or Ballano river, and the Gulf of San Miguel, 
the rivers Chiman, Hondo^ Corotu, Pefiado, Gonzalo 

E 2 


Vasquez, etc., etc., open into the Bay of Panama. Into 
the Gulf, the rivers Congo, Buenavista, Cupunati, Tuyra, 
and Savana open on the north and east, and on the 
south the Moguey, Guaca, Taimita and Sambu. On this 
last river there is a hacienda belonging to Sr. Bermudez, of 
Panama. Gold is said to exist at its sources. At Taimita, 
resides a white man from Venezuela, named Fernando Melo. 

With the exception of these, the only settlements on the 
whole Pacific coast of Darien, are the villages of Ghiman, 
and Garachine, and a few huts at the mouths of Congo and 
Taimita rivers, Chepo being in the Isthmus of Panama. 
These are inhabited by Granadians, and no Indians appear 
on the coast. 

The coast and inland country from Garachine to the 
Port of Pines is completely terra incognita, and would 
well deserve exploring. I once met an Indian from the 
Jurador, in a canoe, but could extract no information 
from him, as he appeared to be very unsociable and uncom- 

EivEKS OF Daeien fai^ling into the Pacific. — 
The Tuyra, Santa Maria, or Kio Grande del Darien, 
is the largest of the rivers of Darien ; the Atrato, above its 
mouths, being included in the province of Choco. 

The Tuyba traverses the greater part of the space 
between the Atrato and the Gulf of San Miguel, from 
S.E. to N.W. Its head- waters are separated from the Atrato 
by the Sierra de Maly, and Cerro del Espiritti Santo, a 
continuation of the Cordillera of Choco. 

Up the Tuyea to Seteganti. — From its mouths, 
Boca Chica and Boca Grande, to the abandoned settle- 
ment of Seteganti, seven miles, the river has an average 
width of three miles. The scenery in this part of the 


Tujrra is magnificent, especially about tlie mouth of 
the Savana; the only settlements on this portion of the 
river, consist of a few huts at La Palma, on the south 
bank, opposite the Savana mouth, where lives a Choco 
man, named Marcado, who accompanied Capt. Cochrane, 
when he crossed from Cupick to the Napipi, and two 
families on Boca Chica Island. 

Chapigana. — Two miles above Seteganti is Chapigana, 
where there are about two hundred inhabitants, and a 
Corregidor; two Scotchmen, Messrs. Hossack and Nelson 
reside here^ and are engaged in wood-cutting and boat- 

A Portuguese, named Jose Maria Troncoso, commonly 
called Don Pepe, also resides here; from having sailed many 
years in slave-ships, from St. Paul de Loando, on the coast 
of Africa, to the Brazils, he is an excellent sailor. At this 
place, and also at Boca Chica Island, Eeal de Santa Maria, 
and Yavisa, there are ruins of old Spanish Forts. The 
town is built in the only swamp I have seen in Darien, and 
is consequently unhealthy. 

EiTEE La Makea and Gold Mines. — Six mUes 
higher up is the mouth of La Marea, at the sources 
of which the Spaniards formerly worked gold mines, 
which Dr. Le Breton is about to re-open on the part of a 
company in Paris. 

RiTEK Balsas and Gold Washings. — Two miles 
higher up, on the same or south bank, the Rio Balsas 
opens. On this river, are the villages of Tucuti and 
Camoganti, near which are some gold washings. 

The Chtjqtjanaqua. — Thirteen miles above Rio Balsas, 
or thirty miles above Boca Chica, the Chuquanaqua falls 
into the Tuyra from the north. 


Up the Chuqxtanaqua. — At the junction of the 
Rio Chico with it, about twelve miles above its mouth, 
is the town of Yavisa, the capital of Darien, with a 
population of about 200; here the Jefe Politico, Don 
Manuel Borbua, resides, and there is an old Spanish fort 
in good order, which formerly had a garrison of 200 
men. There are some cattle in the plain, which is 
cleared to some distance from the town, and extends 
to the foot of a range of hills. In this town reside 
two men named Mascareno and Pedro Louriano Garvez, 
who were born at Fuerte del Principe, and left it when it 
was abandoned in 1790;'° they state that upon its aban- 
donment the garrison of Principe, consisting of 150 men, 
was sent to Yavisa, and that there used to be occasionally 
as many as 400 soldiers at Principe. 

EiSE OF THE Chuquanaqda. — The Chuquanaqua 
rises very near the Atlantic coast, from Loma Deseada, 
the ridge of hills behind Carreto,*' and has a very tor- 

^° See Report of its abandonment in Appendix. 
'1 " In a letter from a person of eminence and worth in Cale- 
donia to a friend at Boston, in New England" (written by 
Paterson), " Certainly the work began here is the most ripened, 
digested, and best founded as to privileges, place, time, and other 
like advantages, that was ever yet begun in any part of the 
trading world. We arrived upon this coast the first, and took 
possession the 30th of November, 1698; our situation is about 
two leagues to the southward of Golden Island (by the Spanish 
called Guarda) in one of the best and most defensible harbours 
perhaps of the world. The country is beautiful to a wonder ; 
insomuch that all our sick, which were many when we arrived, 
are now generally cured. The country is exceedingly fertile and 
the weather temperate. The country where we are settled, is 
dry and rainy, grand hills but not high ; and on the sides and 
quite to the tops, three, four, or five feet good fat mould ; not a 
rock or stone to be seen. We have bvt eight or nine leagues to a 
river" (the Chuquanaqua) " where boats may go into the South 
Sea. As to the innate riches of the country, upon the first 


tuous course. There are a few settlements of Indians on 
the upper branches of this river; but from the very 
small numbers who visit Yavisa or Carreto, I conclude 
that their population must be very scanty. They do not 
allow the Yavisa people to go any higher up the river than 
the town of Yavisa ; and Don Antonio Baraya, Prefect of 
the Territory of Darien in 1849, and now Governor of the 
Province of Azuero, in vain used every persuasion with 
some of them who came down to Yavisa, to induce them 
to allow me permission to go up the river. 

This gentleman kindly endeavoured to assist me in my 
explorations; but notwithstanding the following letter, I 
could not induce a single man to accompany me, and had to 
proceed alone : — 


The SeStok Cokegidoe op MoLineca. 

Yavisa, 9th of January, 1850. 
Dear Sir, 

Dr. Edward CuUen proceeds to your town with 
the object of continuing his explorations ; I hope that you 
will be kind enough to procure him the men that he requires 
for the continuance of his journey, who will be paid for their 
services by Dr. Cullen. I hope that you have no news, 
and remain 

Your most attentive Servant, 

Antonio Baraya. 

Tributaries of the Chuquanaqua. — In its course 
from Loma Deseada, the Chuquanaqua is joined by the 
Chieti, Moreti, Artuganti, Sucubti, the united streams of 

information, I always believed it to be very great ; but now find 
it goes beyond all that ever I thought or conceived in that 


tKe Jutuganti, and Chueti,^' Meti, Ucurganti, Tuquesa, 
Tichibucua, Tupisa and Yavisa. Of these tlie Yavisa is_ 
the largest, and at its head is Ponca, the residence, in the 
time of Vasco Nunez, of a powerful Cacique, who gave him 
battle, and opposed his march across the Isthmus. It was 
to the mouth of the Sucubti that the Indians guided the 
Buccaneers to the Chuquanaqua; and the Pass of Jubu- 
ganti is mentioned by Paterson in a passage quoted in the 
History of the Scotch Colony of Darien in the Appendix. 

The Pierb. — A little above the Chuquanaqua the Pirre 
opens, on the south bank of the Tuyra, having a very 
short course from Cerro Pirre, one of the highest hills in 
the east of Darien. 

Santa Makia. — Just above the mouth of the Pirre 
is Real de Santa Maria, where are the ruins of a fort. 
To this village thirty of the men who took Portobello, 
in 1819, under General Gregor M'Gregor (the same, I 
believe, who was called the Cacique of Poyais, and issued 
the Poyais bonds), and who were afterwards made prisoners 
by Santa Cruz and Alessandro Lores, were sent for confine- 
ment. Three of them were killed at this place, and Colonel 

^^ Paterson says, in his " Second Proposals" — " In our passage 
from land, from Caledonian harbour, we have six leagues of very 
good way to a place called Swetee ; from Swetee to Tubugantee 
we have between two and three leagues not so passable, by 
reason of the turnings and windings of the river, which must 
often be passed and repassed. But a little industry would make 
this part of the way as passable as any of the rest. At Tubu- 
gantee," which is one of the upper branches of the Chuquanaqua, 
"there is ten feet of high water, and so not less in the river till 
its fall in the Gulf of Ballona" [the Gulf of San Miguel] , "which 
enters the south. This Gulf of Ballona receives several great 
rivers, and hath excellent harbours and roads for shipping. This 
we commonly call the Pass of Tubugantee." 


Kafter and another at Yavisa. I got this account from 
an old Indian woman who was present when they were 
killed. Below the Pirre is the site of the old town, which 
was taken by the Buccaneers in their expedition in 1680. 
They found only 3 cwt. of gold here, the rest having been 
previously carried away by the Spaniards. The population 
of Santa Maria is about 150. 

MoLiNECA. — Five miles above Santa Maria is Molineca, 
with about 100 inhabitants. From the other side of the 
river there is a path to the Chuquanaqua, opposite Yavisa; 
the tide reaches to Molineca. 

PiNOGANA. — Five miles above Molineca is Pinogana, 
the last settlement in the Tuyra, with about 150 civi- 
lised Indians and Sambos. The population of the other 
villages is almost entirely composed of negroes, who have 
no intercourse with the Indians of the rivers on the north, 
and would be killed if they attempted to ascend any of 
them towards the Atlantic. The whole Granadian popula- 
tion of Darien scarcely amounts to 1000 souls.^^ 

The P0CKO and Pata. — Of Pucro and Paya nothing 

3' Colonel Lloyd gives the following return of the population of 
the Granadian settlements of the canton of Darien in 1822 : — 
Yavisa, the capital . . . , 341 

Santa Maria 











Of the above, Cana and Fichichi have been many years 
abandoned ; and the population of the other settlements has not 
increased, owing to the fact of high wages at Panama having^ 
induced many to leave Darien for that city. 


is known. I was defeated in my attempt to ascend the 
latter, thougli I have since had reason to believe that the 
fear of the small-pox being introduced rather than hostility 
to foreigners was the cause of my having been driven back, 
therefore I shall try again to ascend it^ bringing some 
vaccine Ijrmph with me, as I have found that prophylactic 
to have availed me in many hazardous explorations in the 
British, Spanish, and Portuguese Guianas, and many other 
savage countries, and I take this occasion to digress, and 
recommend all explorers never to travel without it. It is 
a much more powerful protection than a revolver or a bowie- 

The Mountain Chacakgun and Gold Dust. — 
Two Paya Indians told me that from the Paya to a 
mountain called Ghacargun was one day's journey; that it 
took one day to cross it, one day from the other side 
to Arquia, and one day thence to the Atrato. They stated, 
also, that there was a " quebraita," or little rivulet, in Gha- 
cargun, called Tiyaco, which contained abundance of very 
fine gold, which they called aasites. 

Gold Mines on the Upper Tutra— Why shut up. 
— On Cana and some other branches of the upper course of 
the Tuyra, the old Spaniards carried on gold mining very 
successfully ; but the mines were closed by order of the Kino- 
of Spain, in consequence of their, having attracted the 
Buccaneers (see p. 47). 

The Atlantic Coast op Darien. — The Atlantic 
coast of the Isthmus of Darien''" extends from the mouth 
of Suriguilla river in the bottom of the Gulf of Darien, 
in lat. 7° 55' 15" and long. 76056', to Cape San Bias in 
lat. 9" 34' 36" qnd long. 790 1' 90". 

'* For a description, of the various harbours and anchorages 
on this coast, see the '' Columbian Navigator." 


The Gulf op Daeien. — The Gulf of Uraba, or Darien, 
offers safe anchorage in all seasons. 

Rivers palling into it.~The Atrato. — The delta 
through which the Atrato discharges itself on the S.W. 
side of the Gulf is inundated even at low water, and covered 
with an impenetrable forest of mangroves: it is consequently 
very unhealthy. Though the Atrato has great depth of 
water inside, yet there is a bar with only five feet of water 
on it at the most practicable of its mouths, and the rise of 
tide throughout the Gulf is only two feet. 

Trappic op the Atrato and Gold Dust. — There 
is a ■ very considerable trade carried on by this river 
between Quibdo or Citera, Novita. and Cartago, on the 
Atrato and Cauca rivers, and the town of Lorica,'^ on 
the Sinu and the city of Garthagena. It traverses the whole 
province of Choco, which, in 1841, imported 10,000 
bales from Great Britain^ and whence there is a large 
export of gold-dust. 

Steam Navigation on the Atrato.— Within the 
last few months, a substantial Company has been formed for 
the purpose of navigating the Magdalena'^ and Atrato rivers 
by steamers; and many of the wants of the excavators and 

35 At this place a trade is carried on with Americans in fustic 
and caoutchouc. 

36 The River Magdalena, the main artery of New Granada, 
1,050 miles in length, arises from Lake. Buey, north of the 
Paramo, qr elevated mountain top of Las Pa^as, in P58' N. lat., 
transverses the forests of Laboyos and Timand, the spacious 
plains of Neiva, and the forests of Nare, and uniting with the 
Cauca in lat. 9" 25 ', enters the Atlantic 600 miles N. of its source, 
which has an elevation of about 5,900 feet, whilst that of the 
Cauca, in the snows of Coconuco, is 16,000 feet above the level 
of the sea. It .is navigable for large boats from its mouth to 
Honda, where there is a small fall called El Salto, and from 
thence up to Neiva for smaller boats. 

On my passages up and down this river last year, on my way 
from Carthagena to Bogota and back, I made the following 
estimate of the. distances from Calamar (25 leagnes, or 75 miles 


first settlers on the Canal route will besupplied tlirougli 
the medium of that Company's steam-boats. 

from Carthagenaby road), to Honda (75 miles from Bogota, by- 
road) : — 


Calamar to Santa Cruz . 54 
Santa Cruz to Pinto, above 

the Cauca Mouth . . 36 

Pinto to Pueblo Nuevo . 15 

Pueblo Nuevo to Mompox 15 

Mompox to Banco . . 48 

Banco to San Pedro . . 27 

San Pedro to Regidor . 6 
Regidor to Shed at Puerto 

de Ocana .... 21 

Puerto to Ocana to BadUlo 30 

Badillo to Baranquilla . 15 

BaranquiUa to Rosario . 1 3 

Rosario to Paturia . . 7 

Paturia to San Pablo . . 15 

San Pablo to Brojorque . 27 




Brought forward . 
Brojorque to Zorilla . . 
Zorilla to Shed between 

Opon &Chucuri mouths 21 
Thence to Carare . . .36 

Carare to San Bartolom^ . 36 
San Bartolom6 to Garra- 

patas 24 

Garrapatas to Nare . . 30 

Nare to River La Miel . 50 

La Miel to Buena Vista . 7 

Buena Vista to Guanimo . 21 

Guarumo to Egipciaca . 15 
Egipciaca to La Vuelta or 

Conejo 21 

Conejo to Honda ... 12 


Thus the distance from Carthagena to Calamar is . 75 miles 

Calamar to Honda 611 

Honda to Bogoti 75 

Carthagena to Bogotd 761 

The following is a statement of the Population of those pro- 
vinces of New Granada, which communicate with the Magdalena, 
extracted from an official census published by the government of 
New Granada last year. 


Province to Antioquia 




Brought forward . 907,626 

Bogotd . . 


Province of Sabanilla 35,357 

Carthagena . 


Santamarta . 36,485 



Santander . 21,282 

Cdrdova . . 


Socorro . . 157,085 



Tequendaraa . 52,947 

Mariquita . . 


Tundama . . 152,753 

Medellin . . 


Tunja . . . 141,483 

Mompos . . 


Valle-Dupar . 14,032 

Neiva . . 


V^lez . . . 109,421 

Ocaiia . . . 


Total . 1,628,471 

Carried forward . 



Into tie Culata, or bottom of the Gulf, the Surlqiiilla 
falls, forming the boundary between Darien and the Pro- 
vince of Carthagena; just above the most western of the 
mouths of the Atrato the river Tarena disembogues : I be- 
believe that Arquia, of which I have heard the Indians 
speak much, and which is one of the largest settlements, is 
on this river; they told me that one man at Tarena mouth, 
I believe Zapata's son, mentioned elsewhere, speaks a little 
English. There are also settlements at Tutumate, Tripo 
Gandi, and Gandi mouths; but the interior is utterly un- 
known, and presents a most inviting field for future explorers, 
as I fear my time will not permit me to penetrate in that 

Cape Tibtjeon. — Proceeding along the west side of the 
Gulf to Cape Tiburon, three peaks are visible — Pico 
Tarena, Pico Gandi, and Pico Tiburon. Cape Tiburon has 
two small harbours ; tjie larger, Miel Harbour, has good 
holding-ground, and its greatest depth is thirteen fathoms, 
with a sand and clay bottom. 

From Cape Tiburon a chain of hills, crossed by valleys 
and ravines, follows the curved direction of the coast, 
parallel and close to it. 

Bat of Anachucuna. — "West of Cape Tiburon, the 
Bay of Anachucuna, two and a half miles deep, has a beachy 
shore extending nine miles from E. to W., nearly to the 
Point of Carreto. 

Cakeeto Bat. — Inside the Peak and Point of Carreto' 
thirteen miles W. N.W. (N. 62° W.) of Cape Tiburon, is 
the Harbour of Carreto, of a semicircular form, which falls 
in about a mile, and is a mile across in its narrowest part, 
with a depth of from three and a quarter to eight fathoms; 
but is open to the N.E., on which account it is of little use 
in the season of the breezes. 


PuNTA ESCOSCES. — At' seven miles N.W. | W., 
(N. 48° W.) from the Point and Peak of Carreto, is Punta 
Escosces, the S.E. point of Caledonia Bay, which. I have 
already described. 

One of the Scotch colonists of Darien (1698-99), speak- 
ing of the harbour of New Edinburgh, or Port Escosces, 
says — " We have already had Dutch, French and English, 
all at the same time, in our harbour, and all of them won- 
dering what the rest of the world have been thinking about, 
while we came here to the best harbour in the best part of 
America. The soil is rich, the climate temperate, and the 
water sweet." 

New Edinburgh — The Scotch Colony or Darien. 
— The Scotch colony erected their town of New Edinburgh 
on the promontory^' outside of Port Escosces; the settle- 

'? " As soon as they were arrived safe in the bay, after their 
hearty thanks to Almighty God for their safe arrival, they fell to 
sounding the coasts, and found within a great chaia of islands 
(among which is the Golden Island, by the Spaniards called St. 
Katherine), a most large and capacious port, where ships of the 
greatest burthen may safely ride secure from wind and weather. 
The entrance of the port, to which they have given the name of 
the Port of New St. Andrew, is not above cannon-shot over, so 
that it is very capable of being defended against the attacks of 
any enemies, they having already raised platforms for that end. 
Upon the low neck of a promontory (seethe map with this pam- 
phlet), aud which contains not above thirty acres of land, they have 
began to build them such houses as so short a time can give them 
leave, which they have covered over with the leaves of the tree 
called Plantain, whose leaves are about a foot and a half long. 
Jor the better security of the new fort, they have cut the isthmus 
or neck of land on which it stands, for about 130 paces, and let 
in the sea, so that it has no communication with the land but by 
a bridge. In this fort they have already mounted fifty guns, and 
placed in it a garrison of near 600 men." — " History of Caledonia, 
or the Scots' Colony in Darien, by a gentleman, lately arrived. 
London, 1699." 

"The locality," says Captain Fitzroy (p. 25) "was so much 
liked by the Scotch adventurers, that even after their utter ruin 


ment of Agla, founded in 1514 by Gabriel de Eojas, was 
situated on the west bank of the mouth of the Aglaseniqua. 

Fort Carolina. — The same place was afterwards selected 
by General Arebalo for the fort of San Fernando de Caro- 
lina, '' established in 1785, and abandoned in 1790. A grove 
of cocoa-nut trees and some bricks and tiles indicate its 

Ascension Island and Indian Treaty. — On the 
island of Ascension, to the south of Golden Island, 
I found a large space covered with a mass of tiles and 
bricks. On this island, a treaty for the reduction and 
pacification of the Indians was celebrated between the 
Spaniards and Indians on the 9th of June, 1787 (see p. 50). 
It was signed by General Antonio de Arebalo and Joseph de 

and dispersion, the leaders (in particular Paterson) wished and 
endeavoured to organise another expedition to the same place. 
In those days much gold was obtained near St. Miguel Gulf. 
The climate of the higher ground was pleasant, and the soil 
remarkably fertile. General commerce with the Indies and 
Europe, slave-trade with the Spanish colonies (?) and obtaining 
gold from the neighbouring mines, were no doubt chief induce- 
ments to the Scotch colonists, besides opening a way through the 
Isthmus, which there is so narrow." 

" As we grow stronger we shall endeavour to procure a port in 
the South Sea, from whence It is not above six weeks' sail to 
Japan, and some parts of China; so that, bating distress of 
weather, by bringing the commodities of these countries over this 
narrow Isthmus, the riches of these kingdoms may in three or 
four months' time arrive in Europe." — History of Caledonia, or 
the Scots' Colony in Darien. p. 53. 

The Scotch colony was only broken up at last by the desertion 
and discountenance of the English sovereign, and his command 
that no supplies should be sent to them from the neighbouring 
English colonies ; and they ultimately, after three successive 
attempts, were compelled to surrender, after a gallant defence, 
to a greatly superior force of Spaniards. 

5' See Diary of Transactions at this Fort, in Appendix. 


Guerra y Vaos on tlie part of the Spaniards, and on tlie 
part of the Indians hy 

the Cacique General Don Bernardo of Etata 

Captain William Hall - - Putrigandi 
Captain Guaicali - - Eio Mono 

Captain Gorge ... Aga"* 
Captain Urruchurchu - - Sucubti 
Captain Jack _ - - Gandi 
and Captain Hooper. 
The witnesses to the signatures of the Cacique General and 
Captains are Antonio Espitalete, Geronimo de Segovia, 
Manuel de Echandia, De Piu Duvernay, and Eusehio de 

I believe that Captains Hooper and Hall were English- 
men, who used their influence with the Indians to induce 
them to enter into this treaty, of which and of many other 
documents existing in the Archives of Bogota I have 
copies, which I owe to the kind permission of Don Patro- 
cinio Cuellar, the Secretary of State for the Department of 
Internal Affairs; they are certified John by Oscar Levy, 
keeper of the Archives. 

Caledonia Bat. — It was from Caledonia Bay that the 
buccaneers, under Bartholomew Sharp, Basil Eingrose, 
DampierjCtc, with whom was Surgeon Lionel Wafer, crossed 
over to the Chuquanaqua on their way to the Pacific. 

The Samballas. — From the Isle of Pines to San 
Bias Point, the islands, kays, shoals and reefs of the 
Great Archipelago of the Mulatas or Samballas, extending 
in a N.W. direction, form, between themselves and the 
mainland, a series of anchorages and sheltered channels, 
secure in all weathers. The channels formed in this space 
are Pinos, Mosquitos, Cuiti, Zambogandi, Punta Brava, 


Cocos, Rio Monos, Eatones, Playon Grande, Puyadas, 
Arebalo, Mangles, Moron, Caobos, Holandes, CKichime, and 
San Bias. A chain of mountains follows the direction of 
the coast, at a few miles' distance. 

San Blas Point. — San Bias Point forms the N.E. 
boundary of the Gulf of San Bias, the mouth of which 
extends north and south six miles to the anchorage of 
Mandinga; and from this line, the gulf has an extent of 
Bix mUes to the west. Its shores are low, and bordered by 

The Indians of Daeien and their feelings 
TOWARDS THE BRITISH.— The Atlantic Coast of Darien 
is inhabited by the Tule or San Blas^' Indians, a fine 
handsome, athletic race, though of low stature, with 
the copper-coloured complexion, straight coarse black 
hair, and other characteristics of the whole Indian race, 
differing, in no respect, from the Indians of Guiana, 
Venezuela, or any other part of South America. They 
live very peacfeably together, are honest, cleanly, and 
industrious, occupying themselves in fishing,^" hunting, and 
cultivating a variety of vegetables.^' They carry on a con- 
siderable trade with foreigners in cocoa-nuts and cocoa-nut 
oil, cocoa, turtle-shell, cotton hammocks, canoes of calHcalli, 
a very durable timber, etc., etc., which they barter for 

39 Called also Mandinga. 

♦"Dampier (vol. i. 37) says of the Indians, " They make their 
lines both for fishing and striking with the bark of maho, which 
is a sort of tree or shrub that grows plentifully all over the West 
Indies and this bark is made up of strings, or threads, very strong. 
You may draw it off either in flakes or small threads, as you 
have occasion ; it is fit for any manner of cordage ; and privateers 
often make their rigging out of it. 

*' " There grow on this coast vineUos in great quantities, with 
which chocolate is perfumed," 


coloured calicos, shirts, calico trowsers, looking-glasses, 
beads, knives, cutlasses, guns, powder, hatcliets, rum, 
brandy, tobacco, etc, A very profitable trade migbt also 
be carried on witb them, in dye-woods, timber, gums, 
resins, etc. Their principal occupation is fishing for the 
turtle which abound near the kays, and hunting. They 
are very expert sailors, some of them having made voyages 
to the United States. They are very independent, and 
were never subdued by the Spaniards, to whom they bear 
great animosity ;^^ to English''^ and Americans they are very 
friendly, but do not allow them to land on the coast. The 

*2 Paterson, in his Report' to the Directors, says of the Indians 
— " They exprest a wonderful hatred and horrour for the Spa- 
niards, and seemed not to understand how we could be at peace 
with them." "They pressed us very hard," says Mr. Rose in his 
Journal, " to come and live by them, as also jointly to make warr 
with the Spaniards, whom they would engage upon the forfeiture 
of their heads, if wee would but assist them but with 100 men 
and as many arms, with 2,000 of their own people, to drive 
them not only out of all the mines, which are but three days' 
journey from us, but even out of Panama itselfe. We gave them 
fair words, and promised to go to the westward with them to 
view the coast, and if there were any convenient harbour for our 
shipping, wee should be their neighbours " (Darien Papers, 
p. 68). 

•*3 That they did not always meet with a proper return for 
their kindness to the English, is shown by the following dispatch 
from Sir Charles Wager to Admiral Vernon, July 9th, 1740, 
written during the famous Portobello expedition — " I am told 
that the trading ships or privateers have behaved in such a 
manner to the Daiien Indians, by abusing the women, and 
.carrying some of the men to Jamaica and selling them for 
slaves, that we have lost their friendship, and that they have, 
for that reason, made peace with the Spaniards, and will join 
with them against us when they have the opportunity ; and 
that we have done the same to the Musquitos. If it be so, it is 
an abominable thing, but not unlike that sort of Englishmen. I 
hope our troops will behave better." This, however, has been 
forgotten by the Darien Indians, who are now, as will be seen in 
other portions of this pamphlet, ready to co-operate with us in 
this great undertaking. 


traders are boarded, as soon as they anchot, by tbe Indians, 
who bring their produce on board themselves, and do not 
permit the captain or crew to go on shore. Their govern- 
ment is purely patriarchal, — the oldest and most expe- 
rienced man in each settlement being accounted chief by 
general consent, and universally looked up to and obeyed 
as such. They are accustomed to the use of fire-arms, and 
are good marksmen, having also spears and arrows; but no 
knowledge of extracting the woorali or curare poison, though 
they have manchineel, the milky juice of which is a power- 
ful irritant, but not strong enough to kill. Some woorali 
(corova) and poisoned arrows that I obtained from the 
Indians of the interior were procured by them from Choco, 
for the purpose of killing game; these little darts are blown 
through a long tube, called borokera, the aim being ren- 
dered steady by a little cotton of the Bombax Ceiba wrap- 
ped round one end ; their deadly effect is almost instanta- 

It is a very singular fact .that these Indians have no 
names. AVhen one is asked " iki pe nukka" (what's your 
name), he invariably replies, "nukka chuli" (I have no 
name). They are very desirous of receiving English names, 
and have often asked me to give them some, which I have 
done, giving the names of Fox, Henderson, Brassey, Hasle- 
wood, Wilson, Anthony, Vincent, and Cullen. There are 
many albinos, with pure white skin, and hair, and weak 
eyes. The women wear diamond-shaped gold nose rings, 
cut at one of the angles to allow their being taken out and 
put in ; these rings are about an ounce in weight. Their 
legs and arms are also adorned with glass beads, strings of 
coral, gold trinkets, pieces of money, and tigers' ieeth. 
They are very fond of gaudy ornaments; and presents of 

F 2 


some trinkets, pieces of scarlet silk and cotton, pictures, 
and some gilt buttons which I cut oflF an Armenian jacket 
that I purchased in Constantinople in 1848, quite estab- 
lished me in their good graces. 

They have a great dread of the small-pox, which is one 
cause of their not allowing foreigners to mix with them. 
They also fear that they would take away their women; 
and another reason of their dislike to foreigners, is their 
idea that God made the country for them alone. 

They are timid, and would not venture to oppose even 
a small body of men,^^ The Coast Indians live entirely on 
the Coast and the islands and kays off it, and do not go into 
the interior, while those of the interior seldom visit the 
Coast. The Coast Indians wear shirts and trowsers, but 
those of the interior usually go naked; the latter are very 
shy and retiring in their disposition, and keep aloof from 
the Granadian inhabitants in the south, very rarely visiting 
Chepo, Chiman, or Yavisa; their occupations are hunting, 

44 " Thus (says Dampier, vol. i. p. 23) we finished our journey 
from the South Sea to the North in twenty-three days ; in wlaich, by 
myaccount, we travelled 110 mUes, crossing some very high moun- 
. tains ; but our common march was in the valleys, among deep and 
dangerous rivers. At our first landing in this country we were 
told that the Indians were our enemies ; we knew the rivers to 

- be deep ; the wet season to be coming in ; yet excepting those 
we left behind, we lost but one man, who was drowned. As I 
said, our first landing-place on the south coast was very disad- 

- vantageous, for we travelled at least fifty miles more than we 
need have done, could we have gone up Cheapo River or Santa 
Maria River, for at either of these places a man may pass from 
sea to sea in three days' time with ease ; the Indiaans can do it 
in a day and a half, by which you may see how easy it is for a 
party of men to travel over. I must confess the Indians did 

assist us very much But if a party of 600 or 600 

men or more were minded to travel from the. North to the 
South Sea, they may do it without asking leave of the Indians ; 

-though it be much better to be friends with them." 


-fishingi and cultivating vegetables for their own consump- 
tion ; their principal settlements are on the upper branches of 
the Chepo, Chiman, and Congo, on the Tuquesa, Ucurganti, 
Jubuganti, and Chueti, branches of the Chuquanaqua, and 
on the Pucro and Paya. They have a very great dislike to 
the negroes, ^nd generally kill any of them who have the 
temerity to ascend any of those rivers; in 1851 I was 
informed that they killed four negroes who went up the 
. Chiman. 

They place great faith in the divining powers of their 
Priests or Leles, who advise them in all important mat- 

During my intercourse with this noble race of Indians, 
in my various journeys in Darien, in 1849, 1850, 1851, and 
1852j I have been invariably treated by them with the 
greatest kindness and affection, and the most unlimited 
hospitality, everything in their possession having been 
freely and cheerfully placed at my disposal ; and although 
, I boldly and openly, at the very first, explained in detail 
the object of my repeated and, daring trespasses into their 
J;erritory, which, I verily believe, none before me, except 
the Buccaneers and the Scotch colony, who came in strong 
force, aud as allies, had ever invaded without the sacrifice 
of his life; and showed my maps, with my projected canal 
route across their, country, and was, therefore, known to 
,them as the man most to be feared by them, and whose death 
would be to their decided interest; yet not one of theiu 
ever raised' a weapon against' me, and when, on one occa- 
,sion, two or three of the most hot-headed urged my instant 
death, they were Immediately silenced by the others, and 
even those two or three, who, I expected, would follow 
me into the bush and dispatch me with their arrows or 


cutlasses, in tte deptks of the forest^ not only did not con- 
descend to take this advantage of an unfriended, isolated 
white man, hut afterwards even embraced me and made 
peace with me. 

I have made this digression, and entered at this length 
into a portion of my personal adventures in Darien (being 
desirous, in this short pamphlet, to confine myself strictly 
to the facts elicited in my explorations, and not to refer to 
the dangers and difficulties necessarily to be overcome to 
arrive at them) in order to urge, as loudly as my humble 
advocacy can, the justice and policy of dealing with this 
noble race, in all future transactions, in a spirit of concili- 
ation, friendship, and frankness, with the strictest integrity 
and honour, and without any jealousy or unfounded appre- 
hensions of hostility : and I may express a hope, that it will 
not be forgotten that, when a white man, hungry, shivering, 
even in that climate, from exposure, for some days, to 
almost unintermitted deluges of rain, and nearly naked, 
rushed unannounced, a strange apparition, into the Indian's 
hut, he was not driven away. 

pal foreigners who trade on the coast, are Captains 
Eamon Iglesias, Abraham, Eicardo Illhes or Ellis 
(of Cura9ao), Juan Seva (who has been twenty-six years in 
the trade, and never landed on the coast), Zephyrino, 
Kichard Marks, the Captain of the Abingdon, of Baltimore, 
etc., etc- 

The Indians speak very highly of old Captain Shepherd, 
now of San Juan de Nicaragua, or Greytown, who once 
traded with them in his schooner, Mandeville; also of 
Captain Latham, a former trader, whose widow resides at 


A short vocatulary of the language will be found in 
the Appendix. 

Villages on the Coast. — The principal villages on 
the Atlantic coast, are Carreto, Sassardi, Navagandi, 
Putrigandi, Cuiti, Pitgandi, Eio Monos, Playon Chico, 
Playon Grande, Rio Azucar, Eio Diablo, Carti and 

Caeketo has about -twenty huts, thatched with palm- 
leaves; the principal native traders here, are Bolivar, Trueno, 
and Smith. Trueno has been in Baltimore, Philadelphia and 
New Orleans, and Speaks English and Spanish. None of 
them have any knowledge of the interior, nor did they know 
even the names of Moreti, Sucubti, etc., at the head of the 
Chuquanaqua, though so near to Carreto, They told me 
there is a small village a little distance inland of Carreto. 
I enquired for a boy named Jose Pio, who was reared by a 
Spaniard at Yavisa, and whom I was told I should find at 
Carreto; but learned that he had gone back to Yavisa. 
Smith spoke sharply to a young Spaniard I had brought 
with me from Carthagena, and seemed displeased with me 
for bringing him. 

At the mouth of the Aglaseniqua, or Caledonia Eiver, 
there are five huts, as I have mentioned above ; and about 
two leagues up the river a small settlement. At Caledonia 
resides an old man, named Eobinson; and up the river one 
called Juan Seva. Denis, the principal man at Sassardi, 
who has great influence over the Caledonia people, was the 
person who prevented Messrs. Gisborne and Forde from 
penetrating farther into the interior from the north 
side.^* Upon my sending a message to this man, he 

*sHad not a tedious passage up the Magdelena, a protracted 
Session of Congress, and the necessity of waiting untU the con- 


came down to Caledonia with about forty men, to see 
me. I endeavoured to get hla consent to the cutting 
of a canal, but he would not entertain the proposition, 
and requested me to bear a message to the Queen 
of England, to the effect that he did not wish her to send 
any of her people to the coast. He was very friendly, how- 
ever, called me his " aya nugueti" (good friend), and came 
with me to Sassardi where I gave names and presents to 
his boys, whom he promised to let me take to England 
upon my next visit to him — he even offered to take me in 
his own canoe to Portobello or Limon Bay, but afterwards 
declined, saying, that he could not get men: I believe the 
real cause to have been a report of the existence of small 
pox and cholera at Limon Bay. Before taking leave of me, 
he said, that if the old men of the other settlements were 
willing to allow foreigners to come and cut a canal, he 
would not object; and advised me to return again and hold 
a formal meeting of the old men. 

At Sassardi there are about twenty huts. In one of these 
lives John Bull, who was sick at the time of my visit. 
There is another John Bull on the coast at Mandinga. A 

cession was granted, detained me ia Bogota until the 4tli of 
June last, and beyond the time when I had arranged with Sir 
Charles Fox to return to the coast and join the engineers at Car- 
thagena, Messrs . Gisborne and Forde would not have left that 
city, nor have landed amongst these Indians without a protector, 
all the Caledonian and Sassardi Indians having been my personal 
friends. When I arrived at Caledonia Bay from Carthagena, 
Messrs. G. and F. had been ten days gone, and I found a great 
deal of excitement to prevail along the coast in consequence of 
their attempt to traverse the country ; but upon my explaining 
that they were friends of mine, the Indians became satisfied. 
Whilst I remained in Caledonia Bay, the Aglaseniqua river was so 
flooded from the heavy rains, that I could not ascend it or send a 
message to my friends in the settlement above-mentioned. 


small scliooner from tlie Atrato, belonging to Faustino, and 
an American yacht called in while I was here. A little 
west of Sassardi there is a deep valley, in the Cordillera of 
the coast. 

PuTEiGANDi has about twenty-five huts: the principal 
trader here is William or Julian. He was very friendly to 
me, and desirous of information about the customs of other 
Indian nations that I had seen ; as the Accaways, Arrow- 
aaks, Caribisce, Warrows, Macousies, etc., of British Guiana 
and Venezuela, the Indians of the San Joaquin, and Sierra 
Nevada of California, etc, etc. He showed great desire to 
learn a little English, and asked me to give names to his 
sons. At this place I was present at a Chicha feast. On my 
way from Sassardi to Putrigandi in a small sloop, we were 
followed by a large panoe, with about ten paddlers, and a 
number of men armed with muskets, who kept up a continual 
firing. As they were pulling directly towards us, whilst we lay 
becalmed, the Captain thought they were coming to kill me 
On account of the propositions I had been making. 
However, I asked one of the Indian boys on board what 
they were firing for, and he said " Quenchaqua Tule 
tumati purkwisa" (one great Indian is dead); which ex- 
plained the matter. Shortly afterwards the canoe steered 
in to Navagandi. 

Eio Monos and Pitgandi are very small settlements ; 
cocoa-nuts ,grow all along the sea-beach west of the 

Playon Chico has about twenty huts. 

Playon Grande has about thirty huts, and a sea-beach 
four miles long. The principal men here ' are William 
Shepherd and Tom Taylor. 

At Azucar, or Sugar yiver, the chief man is Crosby. 


Eio Diablo is the largest settlement on tlie coast, and lias 
about forty huts ; here live Story and Jack Bragg. 

At Cedar river, or Carti, in the Bay of Mandinga, are 
Vicuna, William and Tom Dadd. 

At Mandinga lives John Bull. 

At Yantopoo, an island opposite Carti, lives Campbell. 
John Bull, Vicuna, and Campbell, were present at the 
signing of the treaty of peace between the Spaniards and 
Indians in 1788 or 1789, at Carthagena, Portobello, and 
Panama. John Bull was baptised at Portobello, the Chief 
of Police there being his godfather. Campbell asked me to 
prescribe for his daughter, and wanted some vaccine lymph 
which I sent to him from Limon Bay. 

At Perdon Island, off Cape San Bias, I saw three chil- 
dren by the same father and mother, two of whom were 

The Indians say that there are settlements a little distance 
inland; but as there is not a single patch of cultivation 
visible from the coast on the highlands in the interior, their 
population must be very scanty. 

Population of the Coast. — I do not think the 
population of the whole coast, from the Atrato mouth 
to San Bias, amounts to 3,000 souls. There are no 
Indians in the interior nearer to the proposed canal route 
than those of the Chuquanaqua on the east, and the 
Chepo or Ballano on the west. Those would offer no 
opposition. In 1747, Governor Don Joaquin Valcarcel de 
Miranda calculated the whole Indian population of Darien 
at 5,000 families; and I have reason to believe that the 
number has very much diminished since that time. 

At Palenque, Culebra, Nombre de Dios, and Portobello, 
I made minute enquiries as to the probability of the Indians 


opposing the landing of foreigners, or the opening a road, 
and was informed by tlie people wlio have great intercourse 
with the Indians, that they are very timid, and would not 
attempt to resist a force of a dozen men, who might safely 
traverse the whole country. The people of those places 
(negroes) expressed, a very great desire for the opening of a 
road and canal, and promised to go down to Caledonia to 
work as soon as operations commenced. 

In PORTOBELLO, the Jefe Politico informed me that old 
John Bull, of Mandinga, his godson, had been there some 
time before, that he had mentioned his having heard of my 
intending to open a road, and expressed his dislike to such 
a project; but did not say he would oppose it. Here, also, 
I met Captain Abraham, who remarked that my project 
would destroy his trade, and oblige him to leave the coast; 
for the Indians, he said, would retire into the interior, from 
fear, as soon as the foreigners came. 

The following very interesting account, which I took 
from a very aged negro, will throw some light on this 
part of the subject. 

Declakation of Santa Anna Ceballos, Portobello, 13th 
July, 1852. 

" Santa Anna Ceballos, negro, 101 years of age, native of 
Portobello, declares that he was corporal of artillery in the 
' establishment of Mandinga, in 1786, when General Arebalo, 
and his second in command, Don Felix Malo, were there. 
At the same time, the regiments of Estremadura and Isoria, 
consisting of 2000 men, arrived at Portobello, on their 
way from Spain to Peru, but none of the men of those 
regiments went to Mandinga, in consequence of letters 
having been sent to the King of Spain, advising him to 
send only negro soldiers, or natives of Veraguas, to Darien. 
This was principally owing to an attempt, at insurrection 


some time previously, by the negroes of Panama and 
Veraguas, and it was intended to punish them, by enrolling 
them as soldiers to serve in Darien against the Indians; and 
also because the negroes were better skilled in clearing 
bush, and tracking Indians in the forest than white men. 
While Santa Anna Ceballos remained at Mandinga one 
year and two months, there were always 100 soldiers there. 

" No attempt was made by the Indians to prevent the 
clearing of the land, nor did they ever attack the establish- 
ment. He had never seen so many as fifty together. 

"The Indians never killed any of the soldiers, nor any 
Spaniard, except some one or two who got astray in the 
bush, or went about trading, or selling plantains. When- 
ever Indians happened to pass the fort, the soldiers used to 
fire their guns, and the Indians would make off. The first 
Indian who came to the establishment, was Capt. William 
Andrew Letong (probably Latham), who brought proposals 
for a peace on the part of the Indians. 

" Every Sunday the soldiers went out to the plantain 
grounds of the Indians to cut plantains, and were never 
attacked. There was a post from Panama to Mandinga, 
which crossed by way of Ghepo. The postman was a negro 
soldier of the stationary company of Panama, with four 
other soldiers of the same company for his escort; they 
always crossed the Isthmus safely, and were never attacked. 
The garrison of Mandinga never made any sallies against 
the Indians. On one occasion no provisions or money were 
sent to the fort for two months, and the men mutinied and 
threatened to return to Porto bello. General Arebalo came 
from Carthagena to punish them, and ordered one out of 
every ten men to be shot, but afterwards pardoned them, 
having tested their fidelity by the following ruse: — Don 
Felix Malo ordered a company of eight men, who went to 
fetch water, to take their muskets with them and fire them 
off when they got near the fort on their return ; immediately 
upon hearing the reports, all the soldiers rushed out to 
defend the fort, supposing it to be an attack of Indians, 


leaving behind them on a table their two months' pay, 
which General Arebalo had brought, and was in the act of 
paying them. Arebalo then reproved them for the mutiny, 
and related to them that in the war of Italy, the soldiers 
did not mutiny, even when reduced by famine to eat one 
another. When Santa Anna Ceballos left Portobello for 
Mandinga, Colonel Don Andres de Arisa went in the 
same vessel, and afterwards to Carolina and Spain. Arisa 
used to bind up his hair and go through the bush like an 
Indian, with a gun, sometimes alone and sometimes accom- 
panied by his Lieutenant Orencio, an Indian of the South 
of Darien, who was very faithful to him, and was after- 
wards killed by the Indians in the South. The Indiana 
were very much afraid of Arisa, because he was the most 
active of the Spaniards, and had established forts in the 
South of Darien. He was a very little man. Santa Anna 
Ceballos's captain was Pedro Rifa, a Catalan, who after- 
Wards went to the fort at Cayman (on the east side of the 
Gulf of Darien), and died there. Another of his oflScers, 
Don Antonio Espitalete (whose name appears as one of the 
witnesses to the treaty mentioned above), went to Carolina; 
he came from Spain with the regiment of Murcia, which, 
with that of Napoli, was sent over to relieve La Reina. 

" The only occasion on which an Indian was killed, was 
one day that Quintana and Orencio went to Copola Island, 
to gather cocoa-nuts; when Quintana smelled Indians, fired, 
and killed one, upon which the Indians blew the fatora or 
pipe, and ran away to their canoes. 

" He considers that the young Indians are friendly, 
though the old men are averse to intercourse with foreign- 
ers. The present Indians do not know how to fight, and 
would not attempt to resist a small body of men. All the 
most warlike Indians have died off. The English taught 
them the use of guns; but they are .very much afraid of 
cannon {kinkilitumati) . The present Indians are quiet and 

" William once asked Don Felix Malo, what sort of a 


•weapon the bomb was. Male told him to come tlie next 
day, and he would show him. The next morning, at nine 
o'clock, William came, and the bomb was fired; whereupon 
he said it was a diabolical invention, and never returned to 

the fort again. 

" During his stay at Mandinga, Colonel Kobert Hodgson, 
an English engineer, who attempted to land at Caledonia 
with a body of men, was taken prisoner by a packet-boat of 
the king. He saw him at Portobello, where he was allowed 
to walk about, and used to look with a very powerful 
telescope from the top of the high hill behind Portobello. 
Antonio Espitalete used to keep him company, and said he 
was a very clever man. He relates, that an English frigate 
appeared off the coast, and seven Spanish vessels went to 
attack her; but when they came near, found that she had 
the plague [ship-fever] on board, and left her. An Eng- 
lishman named Zapata** [probably Soppit], who had many 
slaves in Veraguas, used to smuggle on the coast: his part- 
ner was taken by the guardacostas, and put to death. 

" The fort of Mandinga was abandoned in consequence 
of the peace with the Indians. 

" The fort of Concepcion was established shortly after 
that of Mandinga: one hundred men landed there, and 
erected a battery. On the ninth day after their landing, 
the Indians came and fought from six to ten a.m. : Arisa 
and Orencio were present. There was only one Spaniard 
killed; but it was not known how many Indians, as they 
immediately carried off those who fell. The Indians kept 
in the bush, and Orencio called out to them to come out 
into the campo raso (cleared ground) like the Spaniards; 
but they would not. The Indians fought with arrows and 
lances, called ichag&ala. This was the only fight in the 
establishment of Concepcion. 

" Of Carolina fort, in Caledonia Bay, he knows nothing, 

*6 There is a half Indian son of Zapata's on the coast, but he 
■was absent at the time of my visit, and I sent a message to him. 

except from what he has heard from other soldiers of that 
time. Arebalo went there from Mandinga, with a hundred 
men whom he had brought from Portobello, and established 
the fortj without any opposition, in 1785: the Indians 
made no resistance to his clearing and making plantations. 
At four A.M. on the fourth or fifth day after his landing, 
some Indians entered the precincts of the fort, and asked, 
'Where is Arebalo?' Whereupon the soldiers fired, and 
the Indians fled, losing some killed; nor did they return 
till a long time after, when they came to make a peace. 

" He heard, at that time, that a pilot named Penan, 
living at Carolina, became insane, and used to go out very 
early every morning into the bush, and hide until some 
soldier passed, when he would kill him with a dagger, and 
then return to the fort; and that he continued thus to kill 
some one almost every day for some time, until he was seen 
to kill a man by a soldier who went out at four in the 
morning. Upon this being reported to Arebalo, who had 
believed that it was the Indians who were killing the men, 
he was shot. There were no men lost in Carolina except 
those killed by Penan. 

" He had heard much of Carrera and Garcia, who were 
trying to make a road from Principe to Carolina; but did 
not know them, as they were in the south. 

" He says, that the Darien Indians are much afraid of 
the Mosquito Indians, and that the king of the Mosquito 
territory once offered to conquer the Darien Indians for the 
king of Spain; but the latter was afraid the Mosquito would 
be more dangerous than the Darien Indians. The estab- 
lishments only lasted five years, and were withdrawn on 
account of the peace. 

"He also says, that before M'Gregor's time (1819), he 
once fired from the battery of Portobello at the ' Mystico 
Cupido,' a Spanish man-of-war, just as she was entering the 
harbour, and carried away a mast and killed six men — 
mistaking her for a vessel of the enemy, as she had not 
hoisted her colours. She had left Portobello the day 


before, for Carthagena, witli 20,000 dollars on board, and 
had put back, in consequence of meeting tbe enemy's 

Tbis fine old man, wbo walks about daily with tbe aid 
of a stick, has his memory and hearing perfect, though he 
is nearly blind ; and complains much of not having received 
any pension from the king of Spain for his long services, 
which continued until the taking of PortobeUo. His wife 
and another old woman, both nearly as old as himself, as 
well as Domingo de Olios, and Estanislao Garcia, each 
upwards of ninety years of age, corroborated his state- 

The following document, from the Chief of Police of 
PortobeUo, attests the veracity of the old man above men- 
tioned, and his comrades: — 

Stamp of the 


" I, Jose Alesandro Cervera, Political Chief of the 
Canton of PortobeUo, certify that Dr. Edward Cullen has 
presented himself before me, soliciting to be furnished with 
whatever data may exist in the archives of this place, 
■relative to the expeditions that were directed by the Spanish 
Government, from the year 1785, to the establishments of 
Mandinga, Concepcion, and Carolina, and there being no 
archives on this subject on account of their destruction at 
the taking of this place, in the year 1819, by the Colombian 
General, Gregor McGregor, 1 directed the said Dr. CuUen 
to seek for information from the old men, Santana Ceballos, 
Domingo de Olios, and Estanislao Garcia, natives of this 
place, the first of whom was a soldier in the above- 
mentioned establishments, and the others accompanied their 
masters, as apprentices, and who enjoy good reputation, and 
»re held for men of truth; consequently, I consider the 


information given by them to be correct, and deduce from it, 
that should a sufficient number of people come to the Coast, 
they will have nothing to fear from the Indians, and at the 
request of the person interested, I give him the present, at 
Portobello, this 14th day of July, 1852." 

(Signed) JoSE Alesandro Cerveka. 

On the 17th July I sent Ponciano Ayarza, who had 
brought me from Carti to Limon Bay in his canoe, and has 
great influence with the Indians, from having been reared 
by them, back again to the Indians, to negotiate with them 
for their consent to the opening of a road and the cutting 
of the canal, and I have lately received a letter from him, 
dated Portobello, 10th of August, in which he states that 
he has arranged that four or six of the head men of the 
Indians shall come to Portobello to discuss the subject with 
the Jefe Politico, himself and his cousin, and expresses his 
confidence that they will givfe thejr consent. 

In another letter, dated Sept. 27th, he states that one of 
the Indian captains had arrived at Portobello, and given his 
consent, and had returned to the coast to bring the others 
to Portobello, to a council with the Chief of Police on the 

The Concession. — The Government of the Republic 
of New Granada has conceded, by Decree of Congress, 
dated Bogota, 1st of June, 1852, the exclusive privilege 
of cutting a Ship Canal across the Isthmus of Darien, 
between the Gulf of San Miguel on the Pacific, and 
the Bay of Caledonia on the Atlantic — with liberty to 
select any other point on the Atlantic coast between 
Punta de Mosquitos and the west mouth of the Atrato, 
for the entrance of the Canal ; and has granted, besides 
the lands necessary for the Canal and its works, 100,000 


fanegadas'"' of land, to be selected in any part of the 

All tlie ports of Darien have been declared free and 

The concessionaires are Sir Charles Fox, John Hender- 
son, Esq., Thomas Brassey, Esq., and Dr. Edward CuUen. 

I beg to add here my humble testimony to the worth and 
many amiable qualities of that most hospitable and noble- 
minded gentleman, Patrick Wilson, Esq., of Bogota, of the 
firm of Powles, Illingsworth, and Wilsoi^, of London; to 
his valuable aid I am greatly iadebted for my success in 
negociating with the Government of New Granada for the 
above privilege and concession. 

Every possible assistance wiU be rendered by the Govern- 
ment of New Granada, for facilitating the preliminary and 
future stages of this great undertaking; and on the 1st of 
June last, the President of the Eepublic, General Jose 
Hilario Lopez, gave me, with that object, letters to the 
Governors of Panama and Choco, ordering them to afford 
every aid in their power to me and the engineers who 
might proceed to the Isthmus to make the survey. 

The Governments of Great Britain and the United 
States, in accordance with the provisions of the Bulwer and 
Clayton Treaty, signed at Washington, April 19th, 1850, 
■will extend their joint protection to any Company under- 
taking the construction of this Canal, which will, most 
likely, be a united British and American enterprise. 

Negociations are about to be entered into by the two 
governments, in accordance with the 2nd article of the 
treaty, to determine " the distance from the two ends of the 

« About 200,000 acres. 


canal" within wtich vessels bound to or from it, " shall, in 
case of war between the contracting parties, be exempted 
from blockade, detention or capture by either of the belli- 
gerents." ^ 

The direction of the Company has been confided to 
merchants and capitalists, whose character and position 
are a guarantee for the successful carrying out the great 
object in view, and who will act under a Eoyal Charter of 
Incorporation : as a preliminary to the latter, I obtained a 
certificate of Provisional Registration in Decemberj 1850. 

The names of Messrs. Fox,^' Henderson and Brassey, are 
so identified with the progress of the age in engineering 
science, that they afford a sufiicient security for the com- 
pletion of the work with speed, and in a style befitting its 
vast importance. 

Means of making the Eoad and Canal. — The 
preliminary road^ as suggested below, can be cut entirely 
by natives (Granadians)'" who would also perform all light 

*8 See treaty in Appendix. 

*9 See the report in the " Morning Advertiser" of 2nd December 
last, of a meeting of the Eastern Steam Navigation Company, 
held at the London Tavern, 'Bishopsgate-street, H. T. Hope, Esq., 
in the chair ; at which meeting Sir Charles Fox said, " He might 
mention, as in some degree connected with the enterprise in 
which they were about to enter, that he had, with his partner, 
Mr. Henderson, and Mr. Brassey, the great contractor, signed a 
contract for the construction of a great Ship Canal across the 
Isthmus of Darien, designed by Mr. Gisborne, the civil engineer. 
That canal was proposed to be a cut 30 feet deep at low tide, 
140 feet broad at bottom, and IBO feet at low water sm'face. 
Such a cut as that they considered equal to the trade of the 
world, as well as for permanent safety and rapidity of transit." 

50 " The population" (the Granadian)" is nowhere industrious," 
says Colonel Lloyd, in his notes on thg Isthmus of Panama, read 
before the Geographical Society, March 13th, 1831, "though 
strong and enduring under occasional fatigue. Their indolence 
is not to be attributed wholly to the climate, or their own 

G 2 


work on the'canal. For the cutting of tlie canal, besides 

original constitution, but chiefly to the extreme fertility of the 
soil, and the comparative ease with which a man and his family 
can derive subsistence from it. With a gun and axe, individuals, 
otherwise unprovided, take up their residence in any corner of the 
woods, and in two or three days will have erected a substantial 
hut, with upright posts and crosspieces, as firmly fastened with 
vines as any naUs or clamps could make them, and thatched with 
the split branches of the wild palm-tree, one of the best mate- 
rials possible against wind or rain. The family, at their leisure, 
then form a stage or second floor, to which a piece of balsa, cut 
with notches, serves to ascend ; and a few stones for a fireplace, 
an iron cooking pot, and some pieces of wood to sit on, complete 
the establishment. The nearest trees to the habitation are cut 
down ; fire is apphed to the more distant, which after burning 
some days, leave the ground ready for a crop. Advantage is 
taken of the first rainy season to get in the requisite seeds ; and 
for everything else implicit reliance is placed on the gun. None 
of these people stir even to work without this their constant 
companion, generally an old musquet; and in an hour or two 
they are certain of bringing down as much animal food as they 
can consume in a week, with sufficient besides to barter at the 
nearest village or town, for rice and plantains." But this indolence 
does not avail to prevent their employing themselves in any great 
public works, as has been shewn in the case of the Panama 
Railway. " There are within the province," says Colonel 
Lloyd on this head, " several regiments of mihtia, formed by the 
lower class of people and Indians, excellent workmen in felling 
timber and cleaxing ground, and particularly apt in acquiring any 
mechanical art. They have advantages over Europeans which, 
from the nature of their climate, wiU' always exist. Their habits 
are most simple. With a piece of tasajo, or dried beef, a few 
plantains, and some rice, they are provided with the sustenance on 
which they live from youth to age ; and with a skin in their huts, 
on which to sleep, and a block of wood to sit on, their estabhsh- 
ment is complete. Their dress never alters, winter or summer ; 
it consists of a short brown holland or check shirt, and a pair of 
calzoncillos or drawers, reaching to the knee (which are generally 
cast off when at work). Shoes are known to them only as 
articles of great luxury ; they seldom want anything to protect 
their feet ; and if they do, a piece of hide is used, cut and dried 
very neatly, as a sandal. Their common wages are from two to 
three reals a day (Is. to Is. 6d) with their meals, which as they 
are few, may cost about 4d. per day more. These men, there is 
no doubt, tbe Government would gladly place at the disposal of 
a Company, with individuals to command and keep them in order ; 


coloured^' people from New Granada and the adjacent 
republics, numbers of acclimated Irish and Germans can 
be got from New Orleans and the canal works in the 
United States; hence few labourers from England would be 
required, although, from the absence of swamp, I consider 
the country to be healthy, and should not apprehend any 
sickness amongst English labourers, if of temperate habits. 

The great quantity of rain which falls in Darien, the 
prevalence of invigorating currents of air across it, from 
seS, to sea, and the equable temperature of the climate, 
which is not subject to great vicissitudes, tend, most mate- 
rially, to lessen the effect which the decomposition of the 
vegetable matter would, under other circumstances, have in 
the developement of intermittent and remittent fevers, and 
to mitigate the violence and diminish the frequency of 
the attacks of those diseases should they occur. 

and in one instance this has been already offered, though not 
accepted, to the extent of one thousand men." When I was last 
at Panama, the Governor offered me a company of soldiers to 
assist me in clearing bush-paths, but as I was then about to return 
to England, I could not avail myself of his very kind offer, 
though I shall do so at the earliest opportunity. 

51 " Ordinary labourers," says Captain Fitzroy, p. 28, " must be 
sought among the darker varieties of the human race. They may 
be obtained from several places in the West Indies, from the 
United States, from the Kroo coast of Africa and Liberia, from 
the Philippine Islands, China, Polynesia, the East Indies, and 
various parts of America. Of aU. these, the Kroomen and the 
Chinese would probably be the most industrious and manageable. 
On the correct treatment of labourers, and their equitable and 
prompt payment, very much would depend ; but this branch of 
the subject demands separate consideration. Next to the supply 
and management of adequate funds, it is the most important' 

I need not point out that Mr. Brassey, who has so successfully 
carried out so many stupendous undertakings, and has had under 
his command such vast bands of navigators — the industrial 
armies of peace — is not Hkely to fail in this department of the 
construction of the great Ship Canal. 


The heavy showers of rain absorb the malaria and wash 
away the decaying vegetable matter, during the rainy 
season; whilst, in the dry season, the vapours floating in 
the atmosphere are diluted and dissipated by the constantly 
prevailing currents of air, which, from- the level character of 
the country, and the absence of deep, narrow valleys, can' 
never be impregnated to any dangerous degree, with 

The frequency of thunder and lightning, at short inter- 
vals, in Darien, tends also to clear the atmosphere, and 
render it more pure and wholesome. 

Moreover, the forests of Darien being less encumbered 
with brushwood or under-growth, and more open and 
park -like than most tropical forests; the quantity of vege- 
table matter in a state of decomposition is comparatively 
small, and the volume of morbific gases evolved from it 

That the heat of the climate is not incompatible with great 
physical exertion I can assert, from personal experience, 
having endured more prolonged bodily fatigue in Darien 
and other tropical climates, than I have ever borne in 
Europe ; and I can refer to the robust forms, great physical 
powers, and uniform good health of the hogas, or canoe 
men, who pole up the Chagres Kiver under a blazing sun, 
as a proof that mere heat neither pre-disposes to disease, 
nor enervates. 

Strict attention to their personal comfort; regularity in 
the supplies of good, wholesome food ; dry, well-ventilated 
housing (the houses to be raised on piles some feet above 
the ground); regulation of the hours of labour; facilities 
afforded them for bringing out their wives, and thus estab- 
lishing a home In the place; the establishment of libraries, 


amateur bands of music, and other sources of relaxations^ in 
their leisure hours, and a well organised system of medical 
police — on the part of the Company — and total abstinence 
from the baneful stimulus of strong drinks, and attention 
to cleanliness and the maintenance of the healthy functions 
of the skin by frequent bathing — on their own part — would, 
I am sure, enable English labourers effectually to resist the 
influence of change of climate. ^^ . 

^2 I consider attention to this point to be of vital importance, 
from having observed, in the course of an extensive practice in 
many tropical countries, that a slight form of home-sickness 
(nostalgia), originatiug in the want of any source of amusement 
in their leisure hours, is a grand predisposing agent in the de- 
velopement of climate-disease amongst Europeans. 

5' By the surgeon's report on 1 9 1 emigrants, who went out from 
Scotland under the Colombian Agricultural Association in 1 824, 
and who were characterised by the superintendent as " such a set 
of people, with a very few exceptions, as could not have been 
found in any country," we find that the most sickly months of 
the year were passed over by a population of drunken adults, and 
a large proportion of children, with a mortality about one-fifth 
less than that of the most healthy part of Europe. — See Edin- 
burgh Review, vol. xlvii., Jan. 1828. 

"The climate of the Isthmus may be raised as an objection 
against its being a fit field for emigration. It is not attempted to 
be denied that the town of Chagres, and the now useless city o 
PortobeUo, are unhealthy ; but in the forests, and in the interior 
generally, although there is much rain, the temperature is by no 
means high, in comparison with other inter- tropical stations : and, 
from an experience of both, the author can confidently state, that 
the country is generally more healthy than any of the West India 
Islands and Colonies. One good proof is, that the author and 
his companions passed nearly two years in the forests, the greater 
part of the time in sheds or huts constructed by themselves, from 
day to day, or week to week, with indifferent living, and always 
barefooted; yet they never suffered." — Paper read by Colonel 
Lloyd before the Institute of Civil Engineers, Dec. Wth, 1849. 

Colonel Lloyd, in his Notes on the Isthmus of Panama, pub- 
lished in the " Philosophical Transactions," tells us " The seasons 
are two — summer, or dry ; and winter, or rainy. The first 
commences about the end of December, and lasts till April ; the 
latter continues from April to December. The quantity of rain 


But should it not be deemed advisable to emjploy English- 
labour, I can, from personal experience derived from two, 
years' residence in China, and also an extensive acquaint- 

which thus falls is prodigious ; but its amount varies in different 
places ; the clouds hang chiefly over the wooded heights ; and at 
Porto Bello, in particular, which is closely hemmed round by 
them" (it will be remembered that the hUls of Darien are two 
miles from the shore) " the rain descends in torrents, frequently 
accompanied by storms of thunder and hghtning of the most 
terrific description. Where the ground, to any extent, is level, 
however, and has been cleared of its wood, a great difference is 
perceptible; and at Panama the following alterations may be 
observed : — In April, the weather becomes cloudy about noon ; but 
after drizzling for half an hour, clears up. In May, from nine to 
eleven, it is dull, with slight rain ; the afternoons being still fine. 
In June, there is rain every morning and evening ; but the mid- 
days are fair. As the season advances, the rain gradually in- 
creases ; and is incessant throughout July, August, September, 
and October. In November, the nights are always wet and 
cloudy ; but through the day the sky begins to break. Decem- 
ber brings a further improvement. And in January, February, 
and March, a shower of rain is as uncertain as a gleam of sun- 
shine at other seasons of the year. One very remarkable pheno- 
menon occurs throughout the whole Isthmus : on the 20th of 
June the rain ceases for five or six days; the sun shines out 
during the whole day with the utmost splendour, nor is any 
instance known of irregularity in the recurrence of this break in 
the ordinary course of the seasons. It is accordingly reckoned on 
by the inhabitants with great confidence, and called El veranito 
de san Juan, or the little summer of St. John. The family of 
the British Consul resided four years in Panama without an hour's 
sickness ;" and Colonel Lloyd and his companion were seventeen 
months in the country, during the whole time exposed to the 
utmost rigour both of sun and rain, yet with entire impunity. 
The climate, we are told, may be called generally healthy, though 
a considerable mortality sometimes occurs, which, as Colonel 
Lloyd teUs us, " may almost always be traced to excessive indul- 
gence, especially in the use of raw fruits and vegetables, and 
occasionally, also, to the quality of the animal food, which at 
particular seasons is, he thinks, injuriously affected by the exces- 
sive richness of the pastures." 

I may note here that though the Scotch colonists arrived in 
Darien in the rainy season, all the accounts are unanimous in 
favour of the chmate, though Mr. Rose's diary in the papers of 
the " Bannatyne Club" shews that there was no want of rain. 


ance with Chinese in California, confidently recommend' 
Chinese labourers as steady, industrious, orderly, manage- 
able, possessed of great physical strength, and perfectly 
capable of enduring any climate, from being accustomed to 
work in paddy-fields. The extensive network of canals in 
China, forming the most gigantic system of internal navi- 
gation in the world, and the permanence of their construc- 
tion, amply attest the pecuUar ■ fitness of that people for 
works of this kind. 

As to the possibility of procuring Chinese there is no 
doubt ; the law prohibiting the emigration of Chinese has 
long been a dead letter; so much so, that I have seen 
numbers of passengers embarking openly at Amoy and 
Whampoa for Singapore and Java, without the authorities 
manifesting the slightest intention to detain them. Since 
the discovery of gold in California they have been emigrat- 
ing voluntarily, on their own resources, and their spirit of 
adventure and industry are leading them by degrees to the 
west coast of South America : ^ already the pioneers of a not 

5-* What has happened since in California, shows how correct 
were the views adopted by a writer in the " Edinburgh Re- 
view " in 1809 (vol. xiii., p. 284 — 5)' speaking of the then 
prospects of a Ship Canal, now so much enlarged by the gold 

" Is it too much to hope, that China and Japan themselves, thus 
brought so much nearer the influence of European civilisation — 
made more constantly and powerfully subject to its operation — 
would not be able to resist the salutary impression, but would 
soon receive important changes in ideas, arts, manners, and con- 
stitutions ; the hope rests, at least, on such strong foundations, 
that it seems to rise even to certainty ; and then what glorious 
results might be expected for the whole of Asia, that vast pro- 
portion of the earth, which even in its most favored parts, has 
been in all ages condemned to semi-barbarism, and the miseries 
of despotic power. One thing, at least, is certain, that South 
America, which stands so much in need of industrious inhabitants, 
would receive myriads of laborious Chinese, who already swarm in 


far distant exodus of Ctinese have found their way to Peru, 
Chili, and Panama, and before many years shall have 
elapsed, great benefit will accrue to the world from the 
development of the resources of those countries by the 
peaceful and indefatigable black-haired race. So convinced 
was I of the great boon an immigration of Chinese would 
be to Demerara, Berbice, and the West Indies, that on my 
return from China in 1846, I urgently represented the 
subject to the attention of the Colonial Office, but the 
contract for the supply of Hill Coolies from India not having 
expired, the government could not then entertain the 

It may appear a far-fetched notion ; but it is my belief 
that a Chinese immigration will be the only effectual means 
of abolishing slavery in Cuba and America. The Chinese 
work for such moderate wages, work so well, and are 
so eminently adapted for the labour on cotton and sugar 
estates, that paid Chinese labour would, in the end, be 
cheaper than, and supersede, slave labour. Were the whole 
slave population of Cuba and America liberated, it would 
be necessary to introduce people to carry on the cultivation, 
as it is not to be expected that the liberated negroes would 
keep it up to anything like its present extent ; now there are 
only two races who would suit the purpose, viz., Africans 
and Chinese, and from having often observed people of each 
race whilst engaged in field work, I would estimate the 
labour of one Chinese as equivalent to that of four Africans. 

all parts of the Eastern Archipelago, in quest of employment and 
of food. ' This, to her, would be an acquisition of incredible 
importance, and the connexion thus formed between the two 
countries, would still further tend to accelerate the acquisition 
of enlightened views and civilised manners in Chiiia herself." 


Another point to be taken into account is the superior 
prolificness of Chinese, as compared with Africans. 

Profits op the Ship Canal and Proposed 
Tempoeakt Eoute. — As to the profits that must 
accrue from the opening of the Canal, the Times of 
October 15th, 1850, says, " The traffic that would pass 
through the [Nicaragua] Canal, estimated now on the 
basis adopted in 1843, would amount to £1,700,000, 
or 43^ per cent, on the outlay. In the hands of the 
most timid, this calculation could scarcely be reduced 
to any point that would leave the enterprise other than a 
legitimate and attractive one. But the great feature always 
to be borne in mind with regard to it is, that it would be 
so identified with the progress of the world, that its returns 
at any one period could never be taken to limit our ideas 
of what they would become hereafter. At the present 
moment, for instance, the calculations would be based on 
the existing tonnages of the various maritime powers, and 
the present position of the channels of general commerce ; 
but the shipping of the United States doubles itself every 
fifteen years, and that of England still increases rapidly. 
The prospect of the changes to be wrought by the under- 
taking will appear still further beyond the grasp of any of 
the common conceptions of past experience. 

" /^ is the grandest physical work the world can witness?^ 

55 " No memorial of the power of human skill and exertionnoteven 
the Mexican Desague" (a canal 200 feet deep and 300 feet wide for 
a thousand yards, and above 100 feet deep, through an extent of 
3,000 yards, executed within the last three centuries in central 
America, pronounced by Humboldt to be " one of the most 
gigantic hydraulical operations ever executed by men") ; nor the 
wall of China ; nor the pyramids of Egypt; would be more 
remarkable ; while in practical and general utility to the whole 
world no other physical undertaking would bear comparison with 


The past has seen nothing like it ; and any similar fame 
must be equally denied to the future, since there will be no 

more hemispheres to join." 

It must be observed, that, in the above estimate, the 
Times does not take into account the vast increase of ship- 
ping that must take place from the opening of a trade with 
Oregon, Corea, Japan, Tartary, and the Eussian possessions 
in the North Pacific — from the increased trade with all 
other places on the east and west coasts of the Pacific — and 
from the fact that the Canal will be the route to all places 
eastward of Cape Comorin or Ceylon. 

Moreover, it must be taken into consideration, that, as 
vessels would be enabled to make two or three voyages in 
the year instead of one, as at present, this circumstance 
would greatly increase the quantity of tonnage passing 
through the Canal. To the estimate of the Times should 
be added, also, the revenue that would be derived from 
towing vessels through the passage, from the transit of 
British and Foreign war-vessels and troop-ships, the car- 
riage of mailsj colonisation of lands, etc. 

Preparatory to the operations on the canal, I would most 
strongly recommend the immediate formation of a road 
from Port Escosc^s to Fuerte del Principe, or the mouth of 
the Lara. By merely clearing a mule path through the 

such an achievement as a ship canal. The immense increase 
of easy, rapid, and popular communications between regions no 
longer remote ; the wide diffusion of knowledge, and the spread 
of Christian civilisation, would undoubtedly be the inestimable 
consequences of forcing the barrier of central America. Of 
results so amply and so eloquently foretold by authors of estab- 
lished reputation, it would here be superfluous and presuming to 
say more than to express a patriotic hope that Great Britain will 
achieve them ; and then throw open the grand work for the per- 
manent benefit of the world." — Captain Fitzroy. 


forest, a mucli better road could be made tban tbe present 
line of transitj from Gorgona or Cruces to Panama, ■while 
the distance would be about the same that yet remains for 
the completion of the Panama railroad, \dz. twenty-two to 
twenty-five miles. Such a road could be made in three 
months, for a very small outlay, by a party of bush 

Owing to the great distance from shore at which vessels 
are obliged to lie oflf Panama (the anchorage at the Island 
of Taboga being eight miles distant) , the frequent instances 
in which the fleet has been stranded, the long calms and 
violent squalls to which the Bay of Panama is subject, the 
insecurity of Limon Bay, which is quite exposed to the 
north, the very swampy character of the whole line of 
country, from Limon Bay to Panama, and its consequent 
unhealthlness, and the many other disadvantages under 
which it labours, the mercantile community of Panama 
would, if there were a road open, doubtless immediately 
remove to the Darlen route, possessing, as it does, such 
fine harbours, and such facilities of loading and discharging 

The Steam Packet Companies would send their steamers 

5^" Although it is difficult," says'Captain Fitzroy,"toburn forests 
in a very wet climate, it may be done by first cutting a quantity 
of inner or solid wood, piling it in a great heap, and setting it 
on fire close to a thick part of the forest. The heat caused will 
soon dry the nearest trees, which will then catch fire ; and when 
once a sufficient lody of heat is generated, a rapid conflagration 
wUl follow. Green wood burns faster, and gives more heat than 
dry wood, under the influence of a fierce fire. Even on the 
humid banks of the Atrato, Cochrane (vol. ii., p. 452) ' saw the 
underwood catch fire and burn rapidly, consuming a great part of 
the forest.' The insalubrity," even, " of Porto Bello was dimi- 
nished by clearing away wood, and might be much improved by 
draining marshes, burning down forests, etc." 


to Port Escosces and the Gulf of San Miguel, in preference 
to the insecure harbours of Limon Bay and Panama. In a 
very short time a flourishing town would be established at 
either terminus of the future canal; and it is no great flight 
of the imagination to suppose that, in a few years to come, 
Port Escosces, the "key of the world, the door of the seas," 
situated as it is, in the centre of the world, will be the site 
of one of its grandest commercial cities. 

Should the road be opened for the transit of goods, 
passengers, and specie, a very large revenue would be 
derived from it immediately. Upwards of 5000 persons^'^ 
cross the Isthmus of Panama every month, and about 2000 
that of Nicaragua. Each of these travellers must expend 
nearly ,^50 for his passage. The charge for carriage of 
luggage or goods from Cruces to Panama is from ^10 to 
^20 per cwt., and for a riding mule ^20. The revenue 
which would be derived from the transit of goods and 
specie would be very large. When I last crossed the 
Isthmus, the "transportation house" of Faber and Perkins 
were engaged in sending across thirty tons of goods from 
Cruces to Panama, at the rate of ^20 per cwt. There are 
many firms in Panama, Cruces, and Gorgona, engaged in 
the transmission of goods, as Campbell, Jones, and Co., 

*7 In a commercial calculation lately published, I find the follow- 
ing — "Upwards of 100,000 persons crossed the Isthmus of 
Panama during the last year. It is computed that the increased 
inducements and facilities for trade and emigration furnished by 
new lines of steam ships, will increase the travel to the Pacific 
Ocean to 130,000 persons." I need not point out how greatly 
these calculations have been exceeded in the past six months, 
from the sudden intercourse that has sprung up with our Austra- 
lian colonies. Indeed, it is impossible to make an estimate of 
traffic or profit on this Ship Canal which, however enormous it 
may now appear, may not be exceeded by the mighty results 
that will ensue. 


Garrison and Fritz, Joy and Co., Adams and Co/s express, 
Zachrisson and Nelson, Maximino Perez, Mosquera, Hur- 
tado and Co., Dr. Theller and Sons, Augustin PereZj 
Henrique, etc. 

As the saving tliat would be effected by the choice of 
this road is too palpable to admit of competition in any part 
of the Isthmus between North and South America,, there 
can be no reason for doubting the favourable conclusion that 
the traffic by the Panama and Nicaragua routes would be 
diverted to this line. Were the Panama Eailroad Company 
to abandon their present line, and make arrangements to 
construct a railroad on this route, they would have only the 
same distance upon which to lay down their rails that yet 
remains uncompleted on their own line, with a much 
healthier country, and also the great advantage that large 
vessels could come up to the terminus at Port Escosces, on 
the Atlantic side, and at Lara Mouth, on the Savana. 

The Panama railroad, a most stupendous work, consider- 
ing the excessively swampy nature of the country over 
•which it has been carriedj has been completed as far as 
Barbacoas (on the Chagres Eiver), 26 miles distant from its 
terminus at AsplnwaU, on the island of Manzanillo, in 
Limon, or Navy Bay; the remaining portion from Barba- 
coas to Panama, 23 miles, has, I believe, been commenced ; 
at present, goods and passengers, after leaving the railroad, 
are transferred to canoes, which are poled up the river 
amidst numerous shoals, and agaiast rapids, to Gorgona, in 
the dry, or Cruces, in the rainy season ; and from either of 
these places they are conveyed by mules to Panama, 21 to 
24 miles distant, over a road (so-called), the difficulties, 
obstructions, and dangers of which, baffle description. 
Besides the present passenger traffic across the isthmus, 

wHcli is principally to and from California, it may be ex- 
pected that, in a short time, the emigrants to Australia will 
take the Isthmus route. The Australasian Pacific Mail 
Steam Packet Company's ships Kangaroo, Dinornis, Emu, 
Black Swan, and Menura, averaging 1594 tons each, will 
commence running next year from Panama to Australia; 
and aU light goods for Australia, New Zealand, and the 
islands in the Pacific, will be forwarded across the Isthmus. 
By this Company's steamers Sydney may be reached in 
from fifty to fifty-five days from Southampton. 

Within a few months, also, the vessels of the Australian 
Direct Steam Navigation, and the British and Australian 
Clipper Steam Packet Companies, will commence running 
and will convey goods and passengers to Australia via 

By this road, passengers could cross the Isthmus in eight 
or nine hours, whilst by the present route two days are 

Mules can be purchased cheap at Paita, in Peru, while 
^excellent oxen for waggons can be bought in Costa Rica,*' 
and at Barrancas, Puerto de las Tablas, or Angostura, on 
the Oronoco, exceedingly cheap. The land carriage being 
only twenty-two to twenty-five miles, the expenses of the 
whole service on the road would be altogether insignificant. 

In conclusion, I beg to repeat my confident opinion, that 
an attentive consideration of the advantages of this route, 

^8 " At the present moment, Costa Rica furnishes to Panama 
and other parts of the Isthmus, large supplies of cattle. The 
price of a bullock on the pastures of Costa Rica is four or five 
dollars ; on the sea-cost, ready to transport, from ten to fifteen 
dollars. In addition to these may be named deer in the forest, 
wild boar, swine, and hares ; wild turkeys and ducks ; with many 
other land and water fowl fit for food." — Costa Rica Report. 


viz., its shortness, the. excellence of its harbours, the low 
elevation of the land, the absence of bars at the Sa^jana and 
Tuyra mouths, the depth of water and great rise of tide in 
the former, its directness of course and freedom from obstruc- 
tions, the healthiness. of the adjacent country, the exemption 
of the coasts from northers and hurricanes, the feasibility 
of cutting a canal without locks, and the absence of en- 
gineering difficulties, will fully justify me in asserting It 
to be the shortest, the most direct, safe, expeditious, and in 
every way the most eligible route for intermarine communi- 
cation for large ships. 










chief's daughter chogualipeti 



















corova and ina 






















machi totoqua 



big man 




little cuan 








chingo (small 











lion (large tiger) achukiniti 











lagarto(cayman) thayma 







turkey, wild 














white man 




black man 






my husband 




my wife 




my son 




my daughter 

am punagua 



my brother 
















H 2 





there are stones 

> tee ginge akkwa 

who's there ? 

togwachi ? 

(rocks) in the 






there wUl be 

iptigue dadogiie 



much rain 





guontigue an- 




to dance 




to sleep 




to speak 




to see 


to eat 


to sit down 


to drink 


to come 




to go 




the face 






■ cocoa 











an uchuu 













wait a while 




















it is late 

pato chetogi 


coo nu 

come with me 

ambag neni 



will you come 

ambag betake 





gun (bow) 





kinki boo 















wild hog 



tee ana 



dry season 




rainy season 

tee gini 





two canoes 

ultumati wal- 




palanka or pole 

ulchogwala and 






white woman 

■pundola chipugwa 



black woman 

pundola chichiti 

the river is deep 

tee yegualgugwe 


inatitiliti (any 

the river is shal- 

tee thathala ■ 





the river source 

tee tokoo 







a chingo has 

ulgwen nonigi 






a canoe has ar- 

walguen ulnonigi 






how is your son 

? pemachi nugueti 



when will the 

ingu ulak-te- 



canoe come 

yoguey nak- 



from up the 




river ? 

kaka quench- 

when will the 

ulo chana ulno- 


canoe come 

nige diba te 


ambe kaka pocoa 

from down th 

i yaJakari 


ambe kaka pagwa 




my brother is in 

angmechati wir- 


tulaguena kaka 


- chanati 

quenchaqua ' 




at what time 

chana nang ma- 

what'syourname igi pennukka 

shall we go ? 


the sea shore 


at noon 

ipe yolapugwe 

the tide is rising 

timureti nacqua- 

at midnight 



we will go be- 

ipe yolukugwe 

the tide is falling timureti arreogali 

fore noon 


where are you 


we win go be- 

yocabguengutag - 


fore midnight 

we namalogne 

whence come 

piyal petanigi 

after midday we 

ipe agupinitele 



wiU go 


let us go 



let us go bathe 




how do you do ? 




how are your 




sons ? 


the day after 


where did you 

piya akari peta- 


come from ? 


ere yesterday 


where did ye 

piya akari peta- 



come from ? 



meriki mato 

whence did youi 

peyayamala piya 



friends come 



moroko and patti 




when will you 

kana petakowe 



come ? 


ispe, from the 

come soon 

quarrye petakowe 

Spanish espejo 

give me fire 

angacho cheeyalo 


mola makalete 

your hand 


leaves to thatch 


your hands 



the chingo is 


to sow 





two canoes have 

walapokwa ulno- 


achu kineti 







have you a mo- 
ther ? 

have you a fa- 
ther ? 

do you know ? 

when will you 
come ? 

when will you 

nanna mai 

papa mai 


ikip anai, chana 
ina or ipa- 

pane nai 

I \yill go to-mor- 
row morning 

I will go at noon tata yorke nai 

will you come petaniki yo 
with me ? 

when are you piyanai china 
going to hunt cogue purkwisa 

when isyourbro- ipequenati chana 
ther going ? penai 

money mania 

much money mani toga 

how many reals ? iki mani 

one real maniguena 

two reals manipowga 

five reals maniaptali 

a dollar tumguena 

two dollars tumpowga 

six dollars tunguerkwa 

seven dollars tungkukUi 
eight dollars tumpakeguaka 
yesterday a ves- psai ulotumati 

sel sailed from itikine nati 

yesterday a ves- psai itikine ulo 

sel arrived here noni 
a vessel will ar- eysmiqua ulo 

rive to-day noni 

to-morrowaves- pane ulo itikine 

sel ought to noni 

come in 
* ten days ago a ipambegiwusaulo 
vessel came here itikine nonni 
five foreigners meriki aptali iti- 
went on shore kinenapanannie 

A part of tlic above Vocabulary, which I forwarded from the Isthmus, ap- 
peared in the Journal of the Royal Geographical Society, for November, 1851. 

• Tliis and the three following sentences refer to Messrs. Gisborne & Forde's 
landing with three sailors, and going into the bush. 

they went into 

the bush 
they went up 

the river 


■wUl you buy ? 
what do you 

want to buy ? 
give me fire 
what do you 

think ? 
to drink water 
to drink liquor 


fair wind 
foul wind 
rough sea 
there are rocks 

in the sea 
there is very 

little wind 
there is very 

much wind 
south wind 
north wind 

yala nannie 

tiguala nannie 

tulaguena kaka 

tula pogoa 
tula tale 
. pepaque 
ipiani ampenuke 

so pincha 

iki pinchachu 

tee cope 

chicha cope 

ulo choarra quen- 

ulo choarra pogoa 

ulo tumati cho- 
arra datali 

ido choarra pagua 

so ulo 


proa or puruaga 

proa nugueti 

proa isterga 

teemala uruetoga 

teemala akkwa 

proa pipigwa 

proa toga 

yala puruaga 
makati puruaga 

W. or vendaval chagri puruaga 
what wind is iki proa pole 

blowing ? 
loose the sail 
take in ditto 
to belay a rope 
a broken plank 

wur mola parmite 
wurmola he 
tupa eytine 
urkwa marali 




Engineer's Re poet. 

In December, 1851, our attention was called by Dr. Ciillen 
to the Isthmus of Darien, when from Hs statements and 
other information we were led to believe a favorable line of 
country existed for the formation of an inter-oceanic navi- 

Mr. Lionel Gisbome with his assistant Mr. H. C. Forde, 
Civil Engineers, were despatched by us in April last to 
undertake the examination of the Isthmus; and hereto 
appended is the report of their investigations. 

The New Grenadian Government has since granted us a 
concession of land and privileges necessary for the construc- 
tion of an inter-oceanic communication. 

In submitting this report to the public, we confidently 
recommend the adoption of that navigation which will, 
without locks, at all times permit the passage of the largest 

Charles Fox, 
John Henderson, 
Thomas Brassey. 

London, Sept. 10, 1852. 

To Messrs. Fox, Henderson and Beasset. 
Gentlemen, — Having made arrangements with Sir 
Charles Fox to ascertain the practicability of an inter- 
oceanic navigation for the largest ships, at all times of the 
tide, across the Isthmus of Darien, between Port Escoces 
on the Atlantic and San Miguel on the Pacific, and having 
made such preparations as I could in this country, I sailed 
with my assistant, Mr. Henry C. Forde, on the 2nd of April 


last, from Southampton to Cartagena, where we arrived on 
the 1st of May. Here we completed our arrangements, 
chartered the schooner Veloz, sailed for Port Escoces on the 
12th of June, and anchored in that port on the 15th. 

At Cartagena we obtained information which fully con- 
firmed what we had been led to expect from the little we 
gathered in England; — that no strangers had been allowed 
to visit the interior since the Buccaneers assisted the natives 
in repelling the Spaniards nearly two hundred years ago ; 
that it was in vain to think of obtaining from these jealous 
savages permission to enter their territory, and that to do so 
without their permission was hazardous in the extreme. Yet 
as it was generally supposed that the summit level between 
the two oceans was near the Atlantic coast, and it was, 
therefore, important to ascertain whether that was the fact, 
we determined to make the attempt. From the schooner 
the Cordilleras appeared to run in an unbroken range. We 
landed on the morning of the 17th of June, and crossed 
this range without any obstacle, ascertaining the lowest 
point visible from the seaboard to be 276 feet high. 

Beyond this point we followed a small stream, which led 
us to a larger river flowing from the S.W., in a semicircular 
sweep towards the north. A flat plain extended to the 
S.W. in the direction of the Gulf of San Miguel, as far as 
the eye could reach ; looking over the tops of the trees from 
a bluff about 100 feet high, which we ascended for the 
purpose, we obtained an uninterrupted view for at least six 
miles in that direction. The ranges of hills seen are shewn 
in red in Map No. 1. 

We followed the course of this river to the north until 
dark. Early on the following morning two Indians in a 
canoe came in sight, who, upon perceiving us, instantly 
landed and fled to the woods. Proceeding on our journey 
we met, a few hours afterwards, a woman and two children 
(one an Albino), from whom we were unable to derive any 
information. We had scarcely passed her when a canoe 
suddenly appeared with five well-armed Indians in it, who 


made us understand that we were to follow them, which we 
thought it prudent to do. 

They led us, fortunately, along the course of the river, 
which gradually assumed a more easterly direction, winding 
among the hills that overlapped each other, until we reached 
a village at its mouth in Caledonia Bay. We were thus 
singularly assisted in our object by the discovery of a passage 
through the range of the Cordilleras, which had been hereto- 
fore supposed to be unbroken. Here an Indian, who spoke a 
little English, and seemed a principal man in his tribe, 
questioned us as to our object in entering their territory. 
Thereupon a meeting was held of the chief men, who 
detained us as prisoners. After several hours, and with great 
difficulty, we prevailed on them to allow us to return to our 
vessel, on the condition, however, that we should set sail 
instantly, and upon the understanding that if we were again, 
caught in the interior, more summary measures would be 
adopted. Five or six Indians accompanied us to Port 
Escoces, about five miles off (where our vessel was lying), 
and they remained until the afternoon, when we were well 
clear of the coast. 

Our great object had, however, been obtained in finding 
that the Cordilleras, which appeared from the sea a con- 
tinuous range, had an intervening valley, and that the 
summit between the two oceans must be in the centre of the 
Isthmus, if not nearer the Pacific coast. 

It had also been ascertained that Port Escoces, though 
rather small for the terminus of a great ship navigation, 
would make an excellent harbour of refuge, and that Cale- 
donian Bay, as far as I had an opportunity to examine it, 
was most admirably calculated to serve the purpose of a 
habour to the contemplated undertaking. 

We now sailed for Navy Bay, and thence crossed the 
Isthmus to Panama, where we arrived on the 25th of June. 
Here we hired a small schooner of twelve tons burden, 
sailed on the 27th for the Gulf of San Miguel, and arrived 
in the night of the 29th at Bocca Chica, — the entrance of 


Dafien harbour. We proceeded on the following day to the 
examination of the Savannah river. At its mouth we 
found it two miles wide, narrowing for seven miles above 
to a width of half a mile, and skirted by hills from two to 
three hundred feet high, running within a mile or two of 
its banks. The depth of the river varies from nine to six 
fathoms at low water; and soundings gave us a soft muddy 
bottom. From this point to the junction with the river 
Lara, the depth diminishes till the bottom becomes level 
with the mid-tide. The tide rises for fire miles further up 
the Savannah to a fall of about two feet over stratum of 
rock crossing the stream diagonally N.E. by E. at a dip 
of 60°. The point marked I. on the accompanying Map 
shews how far we are able to ascend in a canoe. The same 
class of rock appears both at the bottom and the sides. The 
course of the Savannah beyond tidal influence is tortuous, 
the width of water way being sixty feet at I. 

On the morning of the 2nd of July we began our land 
journey to the N.E. in the direction of Caledonia Bay. For 
the first two miles the country was level and less overgrown 
than on the Atlantic side, which made our progress com- 
paratively rapid. 

We then crossed a range of hills which we ascertained to 
be 100 feet high. After passing a valley in which was the 
confluence of two small streams, we crossed a second range 
130 feet high, forming the summit between the Savannah 
and Caledonia rivers; at the foot a stream flowed nearly due 
east. We followed it for two miles, which led us to a 
larger one, the course of which we traced to the point 
marked D on the map. At this point a clear view to the 
N.E. in the direction of the point marked E, towards Cale- 
donia Bay, shewed a flat plain with no intervening hills- 
The points D and E being only six miles apart, our view 
from D toward E, and our still more commanding view, for 
at least six miles from an elevation of 100 feet at E in the 
direction of D, overlapped and were perfectly conclusive 
with regard to the few miles seen and not actually walked 


over. We therefore accepted the admonition of a foot-path 
and a bridge formed by the trunk of a tree placed across 
the river at this point, that we were again in the territory of 
the Indians into whose hands we had fallen at Caledonia 
Bay, and that our object being accomplished, it was unwise 
to incur further risk from the Indians by walking over these 
six miles, thinking it best for the success of the undertaking 
to retrace our steps at once. 

On mapping our route, I found that the point I. was too 
high up the Savannah River for the shortest junction 
between it and Caledonia. We therefore ascended the 
River Lara, which ran in a more easterly direction; the 
tide carried us up six miles, the width narrowing from 300 
feet to 30 feet; some falls of a few inches each are caused 
by rock of the same character as that of the Savannah ; its 
course is very tortuous; for the five miles I examined 
beyond tidal action the bottom was uniformly rock, and it 
became an insignificant stream. After mapping the direction, 
I feel confident that its source is the confluence of the small 
streams found in the valley between the two ranges of hills 
previously mentioned. 

The gravel banks in the Savannah and Lara Rivers are 
composed of the detritus of igneus and stratified rock. The 
latter is the same as that forming the falls on both rivers; 
its dip being from 60" to near 90°, and its strike varying 
from N.E. to S.E. 

The general character of the country is that of a flat 
plain, subject to inundation at high tides for a considerable 
distance out, and covered with mangrove wood, whose high 
interlacing roots growing out of soft mud, render walking 
impossible. Beyond tidal influence the banks rise five or 
ten feet above ordinary water-level, and are covered with 
the finest timber I have seen on the Isthmus — cedar, 
mahogany, ebony, lignum vitse, culpa, palms, and other 

On the 9th July we returned to San Miguel. This bay 
is naturally divided, by a promontory and a chain of islands, 


intp a roadstead and a magnificent harbour. Captain 
Kellett's unpublished chart, supplied by the Admiralty, 
shews only a part of the former. I have made a survey of 
the remainder; and the general features are represented on 
the accompanying maps, as also those of Darien Harbour. 
I did not examine Bocca Grande, as I understood from the 
natives that the navigation through it is rendered dangerous 
by rocks; and as Bocca Chica, on account of its depth and 
position, is far more advantageous. 

I do not think it possible to exaggerate the merits of this 
part of the Isthmus as the terminus of a great ship naviga- 
tion ; it requires but an examination of the Map to be con- 
vinced of this factj 

We returned to Navy Bay, and sailed for England on 
the 24th July, where we arrived on the 17th inst. 

On Map No. 1, I have shewn in red colour the topo- 
graphical facts which have been ascertained by personal 
investigation, with sections of the portions traversed. 
From this, it will be collected that the harbours of San 
Miguel and Caledonia are both excellent as the termini 
for a ship navigation on the largest scale, with Port Escoces 
as a harbour of refuge, should circumstances occur 
to render its use necessary; that the Savannah river has 
six fathoms or upwards in depth at low water, for a 
distance of seven miles from its mouth, the effect of the tide 
reaching on the Lara tributary eleven miles above this, or 
eighteen miles from Darien Harbour, leaving a distance of 
thirty miles to Caledonia Bay, which is the actual breadth of 
of the Isthmus between the tidal effect of the two oceans ; tha 
the summit level is ascertained to be 150 feet, and is formed 
by a narrow range of hills, having a gradually rising plain 
at their foot at each side. There is every reason to believe 
that a more detailed examination of this division of waters 
will result in a considerably lower summit being found ; but 
this, under the circumstances of the section, is not such^n 
important point as might at first be supposed ; the narrow- 
ncfs of the ridge making the cubic quantity through it very 


small compared to the excavation through the plains, so 
that should the hills depress into th& actual level of the 
plains, the estimate will not be materially affected. The 
bulk of the work to be done is in the plains themselves, and 
the cost will be proportionate to the cross section adopted, 
or, in other words, the depth and breadth of the navigation 
required. The question, therefore, resolves itself into what 
are the necessities of commerce as an inter-oceanic water 
communication . 

I do not consider it necessary to enter into the merits of 
this question. My instructions are, to design a navigation 
capable of passing with security at all times the largest vessels 
navigating the two oceans, not with a view to a local 
coasting trade, but for the accommodation of the whole 
maritime world. 

There are two methods of accomplishing this object: — 
1st. To make a cut of sufficient capacity to form an 

uninterrupted navigation (without locks) from sea to 


2nd. A navigation with locks on a scale suitable to 

the object in view. 

There can be no doubt that the carrying out of the first 
proposition will comply in the fullest sense with the re- 
quirements of all classes of vessels, and, when completed, 
will best supply the want of a natural connexion between 
the oceans. Its execution offers no engineering difiiculties, 
and no chance of future failure ; it is simply a question of 
cubic quantity of excavation dependent on the dimensions 
of the cross section. 

Many large Merchantmen and men-of-war draw from 24 
to 28 feet of water; and oceanic steamers measure 350 feet 
over all, with a breadth of 70 to 74 feet across the paddle- 
boxes. Ship-building is not at a stand ; on the contrary, 
the size of vessels is rapidly on the increase. In. such an 
undertaking it is therefore reasonable to forestall progress 
by a timely concession to it. I propose to make a cut of 
30 feet deep at low tide, 140 feet broad at bottom, and 


160 feet at low water's surface. Such a cut, carried from 
sea to sea, is not Iswger tlian the trade of the world re- 
quireSj and will form a permanent, safe, and rapid mode of 

On Plan No. 2, the direction of the navigation is marked 
by a red line, and on the section, the depth of cutting 
required is shewn in red colour. 

On the Pacific the tide rises twenty-three feet, and on 
the Atlantic it is scarcely appreciable. Mid-tide is on a 
level, or nearly so, in the two oceans, so that there will be 
a current both ways dependent on the ebb and flow of the 
Pacific. This current will not exceed three miles an hour, 
and will act most beneficially, not only as a scour to pre- 
vent deposit, but as an assistance in the transit of vessels. 
It will secure the passage being effected in one tide, and 
prevent the passing of vessels going different ways, as the 
direction of the trade wUl be influenced by the ebb or flow 
of the Pacific tide. The material to be excavated through 
is chiefly rock (not expensive to quarry), so that this 
current will not wear away the banks, nor will the wash 
of passing steamers cause injury; it also affords security 
against any interruption to the navigation from slips, and 
reduces the cost of maintenance to a nominal sum. This 
rock is a stratified shale, with thinnish beds, easy to get, 
though sound, and will form an admirable side-lining to 
the navigation, dispensing with the necessity of any arti- 
ficial protection. The fact of its existence is one of the 
most favourable features of the undertaking as regards per- 
manence and certainty of success. 

I estimate the cost of this design at j£l2,000,000. It 
must be remembered, that no project has ever been before 
the public which embraces any thing like the objects 
attained by such an uninterrupted navigation. All other 
propositions have but local importance, and look to their 
profits from local trade ; this one is adapted to every ship 
afloat, and seeks a return from the trade of every country. 
Its completion will make a change in the carrying com- 


merce of every Pacific port ; andj as a railway makes its 
own traffic, so will this work most certainly greatly in- 
crease the commerce between the distantly separated coun- 
tries which steam-power is only now beginning to reach. 

This is the design which, after mature consideration, I 
confidently recommend for adoption ; and it is almost with 
regret that I feel it my duty to submit any other, so sure 
am I that it is the only one which will satisfy the require- 
ments of commerce. 

• My second proposition necessitates two levels, joined by 
a series of locks. 

I adhere to the cross section of cut recommended in the 
previous design, as well as the fact of the navigation being 
open to the largest vessels at all times of the tide. 

A tidal canal, supplied on the upper level at high water, 
would be a very imperfect navigation, and one-third more 
expensive than the design I am about to submit. I esti- 
mate the cost at about £7,000,000. It would involve all 
tlie disadvantages of a canal, and offer many obstacles to be 
guarded against, such as the arrangements for draining the 
coimtry on each side, without the risk of strong currents 
and shoals formed by deposit, and increase the time of 
transit considerably, by the small speed attainable by 
steamers in such a class of navigation. I cannot recom- 
mend it for the purposes Intended. 

It has been before mentioned, that the Savannah and 
Caledonia rivers run in two extensive plains. They are 
uninhabited, and the land is uncultivated. It grows, how- 
ever, fine timber, which, if means of transit were at hand, 
would be of considerable value. During the dry season, 
neither of these rivers could, near their source, supply the 
water required at a summit-level of a navigation on the 
scale contemplated ; during the wet season, again, they 
discharge a large volume of water, which, in an ordinary 
canal, would cause trouble and expense to regulate, and 
prevent accumulations of deposit.! Under these circum- 
stances, I propose placing an embankment across both 


these rivers at the points marked in red on Map No. 3, 
making the embankments long enough and high enotigh 
to raise the water at their back 90 feet above low tide in 
the Pacific. This will flood both plains up to the range of 
hills which forms the boundary of their catchwater basins. 
Through the summit a cut is to be made of the same cross 
section recommended in Design No. 1, but with 40 feet 
depth of water, so as to allow 10 feet to be drawn off the 
lake for lockage, or a rise of 10 feet to catch flood-waters, 
and prevent too rapid a current in the tidal entrances to the 
harbours. All the valuable timber in the lake must be cut 
previous to the water being let in, so that an easy means 
will be afforded to convey it to the harbours for shipment. 
From Caledonia Bay to the embankment, a cut will have 
to be made of the cross section adopted in the other design. 
The Savannah is navigable up to the point where the 
embankment is to cross. 

The rise of 90 feet will have to be overcome by locks 
placed in the side of one of the ranges of hills against 
which the embankments terminate, and which are composed 
of rock; weirs will also be provided to discharge surplus 

It is a serious undertaking to raise a large vessel 90 feet, 
without much loss of time. 

I am fully prepared to meet this difficulty, and propose 
that the locks should be 400 feet long from mitre to mitre, 
and 90 feet wide between the gate quoins. Each lock to 
have a lift of .30 feet, to be overcome by wrought iron 
gates. The large supply at the summit level does away 
with the usual objection to a high lift wasting water. There 
will be no difficulty in constructing the locks and gates of 
the dimensions proposed, stone, lime, and sand of excellent 
quality, are obtainable in more than one place on the line 
of country to be traversed. 

Three locks will thus be required in each embankment, 
and I have estimated for two sets at each end ; the second 
set to be 300 feet long and 50 feet wide, with 22 feet of 


water on their cills. Thus four vessels can be passed into 
the lake at the same time, and the larger locks only used for 
those adapted to their size. 

For a navigation requiring the use of locks, I can submit 
this design with confidence. It possesses the facilities of 
deep still water lake navigation, without the disadvantages 
attendant on the use of a canal. The concentration of 
lockage in two places will save time. Great facility is also 
offered in the execution of the work by its not being spread 
over a large area, and only a small portion of it below 
tidal level. The estimated cost is j64, 500,000, it is only 
about one third of that set down for an uninterrupted cut 
from sea to sea, but the disadvantages are very great ; locks 
are decidedly objectionable in an undertaking of this mag- 
nitude and mercantile value. The best studied plans carried 
out in the most perfect manner, cannot guard against acci- 
dent or neglect, which may stop the whole transit for 
months. Delay and risk there must be when such large 
machinery is worked; and there is no doubt shipowners 
would sooner pay a higher toll to pass directly from sea to 
sea, than run the risk and incur the delay of lock navi- 

This question is not one on which a hasty opinion should 
be formed, nor must the decision be biassed by the disparity 
in the cost of the two measures. The real point is, which 
is of the greatest value to the mercantile community? A 
far-seeing thinker cannot doubt that the level cut is the only 
one which will comply with the requirements of the world. 

In framing the estimates I have calculated wholly on im- 
ported labour, making a liberal allowance for the diminution 
of work to be expected in a tropical climate and the extra 
wages necessary to induce parties to emigrate. This portion 
of the Isthmus of Darien is without doubt in one of the 
most healthy districts. Neither Mr. Forde nor I suffered in 
the least from the climate until our return to Panama, not- 
withstanding we were often for days together in the same 


wet clothes without a blanket to cover us at night and 
living on bad provisions. 

The reason of this comparative salubrity is the absence of 
swamps or overflowings of the river banks out of the range 
of the tide, and the general dry character of the surround- 
ing district. 

I have purposely abstained from entering into any detail 
of the works contemplated, or the arrangements for carrying 
them out. My object has been to give a concise view of 
the facilities of the Darien route, the facts elicited by the 
examination of the country by Mr. Forde and myself, and 
the best means of carrying out a project which has for 
centuries occupied the attention of Governments and mer- 
cantile men without much advance towards its completion; 
I cannot conclude, however, without again earnestly recom- 
mending for adoption that design which will, without lochs, 
at all times, permit the passage of the largest vessels. 

I remain, Gentlemen, 

Your obedient servant, 


41, Craven^street, Strand, 

London, Avgust, 28ih, 1852. 





(kavigation through the isthmus of darien 
without locks.) 

(FroTisionally Reg'istered,) 

To be Incorporated by Boyal Charter or Act of Parliament, limiting 
the liability of the Shareholders. 

Capital, Fifteen Million Pounds Sterling, ia 150,000 
Shares of £100 each. 

Deposit 10s. per Share, without further liability. 

Being the Amount limited by the Act 7th & 8th Vic, cap. 110. 

Provisional Direotors. 
Ghairman. — The Right Honourable Lord Wharnclifpb. 

Deputy- Chairman. — John Pemberton Heywood, Esq. 
J. S. Brownrigg, Esq., Governor of the Australian Agricultural 

Charles Brownell, Esq., Liverpool. 
Thomas R. Crampton, Esq., 2, Kensington Square. 
Edward Cropper, Esq., Liverpool. 
J. C. EwART, Esq., Liverpool. 
G. D'Olier Gowan, Esq., CopthaU Court. 
W. J. Hamilton, Esq., Chesham Place. 
Lewis H. Haslbwood, Esq., Highgate. 
T. H. Hope, Esq., Piccadilly. 
Hugh Hornby. Esq., Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce of 

Admiral C. R. Moorsom, R.N., Highfield, Birmingham. 
Captain Mackinnon, R.N., 4, Hyde Park Place. 
A. Montoya, Esq., Consul General for New Grenada. 

I 2 


Francisco Db Riveiro, Minister Plenipotentiary from the Govern- 
ment of Peru in Paris. 

EzEdUKiL RoGAS, Minister of New Grenada. 

Mblvil Wilson, Esq., Albermarle Street. 

Alexander Wilson, Esq., 34, Bryanstone Sqijare, Director of 
the Bank of Australasia. 


Messrs. Hetwood, Kennards, and Co. 

Messrs. J. C. and H. Freshfield. 

Official Auditor, Secretary. 

J. E. Coleman, Esq. Dr. Black. 

Engineer in Chief. 
Lionel Gisbornb, C.E. 

Tempoirary Offices — 36, Moobgatb Ssrret. 

The object of this Company is to unite the Atlantic 
and Pacific Oceans by an open navigation across the 
Isthmus of Darien. 

The vast importance of this design has long made it a 
subject of anxious attention to all civilised nations. So 
early as the year 1695, when commerce and engineering 
science were comparatively in their infancy, Mr. Paterson, 
the founder of the Bank of England, obtained an act of 
Parliament, under which the large sum of j6500,000 was 
subscribed for this purpose ; but this design was frustrated by 
the influence of the new East India Company. 

It was believed that the great elevation of the Cor- 
dilleras presented an insurmountable barrier to the opening 
of a passage by sea, and the supposed difference of the 
level of the waters in the two Oceans formed a further 
imaginary obstacle. The period having arrived when the 
spread of commerce and the flow of emigration from the 
over-populated countries of Europe to the western shores 


of America, Australasia and China, demand a passage more 
direct than that by the Cape of Good Hope or Cape Horn, 
various projects were formed for imiting the two oceans 
by roads, railways, and canals, and the routes by Nicaragua 
in the north, Chagres in the centre, and Atrato in the 
south of the Isthmus, were selected by different parties for 
these purposes. 

All these projects, though intended in some measure to 
meet the exigency, were open to the manifest objection 
that they fell shan't of supplying a continuous channel 
from sea to sea, for vessels of all dimensions, by which 
alone trans-shipment could be obviated, and the objects in 
view adequately obtained. 

That the Isthmus of Darien admitted of a communi- 
cation of this nature^ was first urged upon the consideration 
of Sir Charles Fox, by Dr. CuUen. After much inquiry 
and investigation into the existing charts and surveys 
of the country, so many reasons for the conclusions advanced 
were discovered, that, after communications with the 
governments of Englind and the United States, who 
cordially responded to the call for co-operation in a cause 
of such vast importance to the interests of the world. 
Sir Charles Fox resolved on dispatching engineers to the 
spot for the purpose of examining the country and reporting 
on the feasibility of the undertaking. 

Arrangements were accordingly made with Mr. Lionel 
Gisbome, a civil engineer of great experience in the 
execution of navigations, to proceed to the locality indi- 
cated by Dr. CuUen, which lay in the narrowest portion 
of the Isthmus between Chagres and' the river Atrato, a 
part of the country which is believed not to have been 
traversed by any European for two centuries. 

Sir Charles Fox, Mr. John Henderson, Mr. Thomas 
Brassey, and Dr. Cullen, applied to the Congress of New 
Grenada for a concession of territory, between the point of 
Mosquitos and the western mouth of the Atrato, which 
was complied with by a grant of about 200,000 acres, for 


a canal, a railway, or a road, conditional on the sum of 
£24,000 being deposited within twelve months, to be 
returned without interest, on the opening of the commu- 
nication, and was accompanied by assurances of cordial co- 
operation on the part of the government. 

Mr. Gisborne, accompanied by his assistant, Mr. Henry 
C. Forde, arrived at the Bay of Caledonia, in the month of 
May, 1852, and after surveying the coast on both sides 
and the intervening country, ascertained beyond doubt, 
that between the Bay of Caledonia on the Atlantic, and 
the Gulf of Saint Miguel on the Pacific, there is a dis- 
tance of only thirty miles between deep water on either 
side, consisting of land generally level, which in no case 
is of considerable elevation, or presents greater obstacles 
than have been surmounted on railways and other engineer- 
ing works; and he returned to England, reporting his 
opinion that three modes existed of effecting the object, 
the most costly, but most effectual of which was, to con- 
struct an open channel between the two oceans, as originally 
proposed, which can be executed in five years from the 
date of its commencement, at a cost not exceeding Twelve 

The practicability of forming an inter-oceanic navigation 
without locks, having been thus ascertained, it is now 
proposed to form a Company to carry out this great work 
in co-operation with the Governments of the United States 
and the European powers interested in it, on such terms 
as may make the undertaking permanent, secure, an 

As a mercantile investment, there is no doubt that this 
inter-oceanic navigation is capable of being made one 
of great pecuniary advantage. No sufficiently authentic 
account exists of the number of vessels or the amount of 
tonnage which passes round Cape Horn and the Cape of 
Good Hope to the Western Coast of America, Australasia, 
and China; but sufficient data have been obtained to prove 
that the tonnage is so great as to make a small toll on 


vessels passing through this channel, a source of very large 
return on the capital required, while a toll of considerable 
amount would be a very small burthen in comparison with 
the vast saving of expense to sailing vessels and steam 
boats in time and money, by the use of so short and 
desirable a passage. 

Upon these points it is not necessary here further to 
dilate. It is not intended to embark in the execution of 
the work, without the most satisfactory assurances based 
on the fullest enquiry and investigations into the prospects 
of the undertaking in every respect. 

For the present purpose it is proposed to raise a nominal 
capital of Fifteen Millions sterling, in shares of £100 each, 
of which ten shillings per share will be paid on allotment, 
forming a fund of ^675,000. This sum will suffice to 
defray the preliminary expenses incurred, to pay the 
deposit required by the terms of the concession, and 
provide for the expenses of prosecuting such further surveys 
and investigations, and also negociations with the govern- 
ments both at home and abroad, for grants, or guarantees, 
or co-operation in such other form as may be deemed 
necessary to success. 

The sum of Twelve Millions sterling is believed upon the 
authority of the subjoined Report of Mr. Gisborne, to be 
amply sufficient for the execution of the works on the 
largest scale, and the capital has been fixed at £15,000,000 
in order to provide a sufficient fund for payment of interest 
to the Shareholders during the progress of the undertaking, 
in the event of no better arrangement being made for 
obtaining it. 

A Charter of Incorporation or Act of Parliament, 
conveying limitation of liability, is considered essential; 
and parties taking shares will not be liable to any further 
call beyond the deposit, until a constitution on one or other 
of these bases has been obtained, or without the sanction 
of a General Meeting, and any Shareholder desirous of 
withdrawing at any time will be permitted to do so on sending 


in his sn'ip for cancellation, and forfeiting the dqposit paid on 
his Shares. 

In order to meet the wishes of those foreign governments 
whose co-peration will be sought in securing the neutrality 
of this navigation, pursuant to powers contained in the 
concession, and who may also desire pecuniary participation 
in this enterprise, it is part of the proposed arrangements 
to take measures for ascertaining, at as early a period as 
possible, the extent to which such nations wish to become 
interested, and the form in which they propose to do so, 
and to give effect to their views in these respects, it may 
ultimately become necessary to reduce the Shares to a 
smaller nominal amount, so as to admit these parties into a 
a participation in the capital, or to extend it with that 

It is understood that the Concessionaires (in lieu of any 
other remuneration), are to have a tenth part of the nett 
annual profits, after payment of a dividend of five per cent, 
on the capital. 

The preliminary expenses hitherto incurred do not 
exceed £5000. 

Application for shares may be addressed to the Directors, 
according to the subjoined Form, and Prospectuses and 
Forms of Letters of Application may be had at the Com- 
pany's offices, and of Mr. Edward Haslewood, 15 Angel- 
" court, London. 



According to my instructions, I proceeded in 
April last, with my assistant, Mr. H. C. Forde, to the Isthmus of 
Darien, to ascertain whether the country would admit of the 
construction of an inter-oceanic navigation 150 feet wide, 30 feet 
deep, and without locks, as proposed by Sir Charles Fox. 


Tke accompanying map and section are compiled from per- 
sonal observation. The following are the leading natural features 
of the locality : 

The distance between the tidal influences of the two seas is 
thirty miles. 

The mean water of the two oceans is nearly level. On the 
Pacific the tide rises from twenty-two to twenty-five feet (spring 
and neap); on the Atlantic from fourteen to eighteen inches. 

Excellent natural harbours exist at each end of the proposed 
navigation, that at St. Miguel, on the Pacific, being without 
doubt one of the finest in the world, as regards its extent, depth 
of water, freedom from shoals, land-locked character, and ease 
of access. The Caledonia and Savannah rivers run through two 
extensive plains, the separating ridge being 150 feet over the 
mean water of the oceans. These plains, though flat, are suffi- 
ciently elevated to be dry, and consequently, free from those 
unhealthy influences which affect many parts of the Isthmus of 

The tide flows up the river Savannah for eighteen miles. 
For seven miles above its mouth there is six fathom depth at 
low water, with a breadth of nearly half a mile. The material 
to be excavated in forming the channel consists of alluvial 
deposit, clay, gravel, and rock, the latter is a dark sandstone, 
very regular in the stratification, and lying most advantageously 
for removal. 

Having ascertained these facts, it is recommended to form a 
navigation between the two oceans, which will, without locks, 
at all times permit the passage of the largest vessels, having 
J 50 feet breadth at mid-water, and thirty feet depth at low tide. 
In consequence of the Pacific rising above, and falling below, 
the level of the Atlantic, there wiU, during every tide, be a 
current flowing each way, whose greatest velocity will not exceed 
three miles an hour. This is a most important point, the direc- 
tion of the trade will naturally follow the flow of the tide, so 
that the meeting of vessels will be obviated, and the navigation 
kept free from deposit. 

In calculating the cost, nearly the whole of the' material has 
been estimated as rock, and at prices 75 per cent, above the 
cost of the same class of work in England ; allowance has been 


made for imported labour, and a sufficient sum set down for 
preliminary arrangements : — 

Cost of excavations, masonry, etc., for the 

completion of the navigation £1 2,000,000 

Interest on capital during progress of work . 2,000,000 

Preliminary arrangements, importing labour, 

purchase of land, etc., etc 1,000,000 

Total . . £15.000,000 

The capital appears large ; but the return will be in proportion 
to the magnitude of the undertaking. This is not a question 
dependent -on local trade; every maritime nation has an interest 
in its success, and the commerce of the world will yield the 
profits. Moreover, the vast supplies of gold now discovered, 
afford means which cannot be applied to more beneficial objects, 
than in extending the blessings of civilisation by thus facilitating 
the operations of commerce. 

In such a case statistics are almost superfluous ; it is safer to 
consult the history of the progress of commerce, and argue from 
it, than to calculate profits from the existing state of things. 
But even on this limited ground it can be shewn that the capital 
invested will meet with a good return, by charging only a little 
more than the amount saved in the insurance, without reference 
to all the other advantages which this route will offer. From 
the trade statistics, it appears, that in 1 851 upwards of 3,000,000 
tons of shipping, and 150,000 passengers would in that year 
have taken advantage of this navigation. 

The question of engineering resolves itself into the removal 
of a large quantity of material, and the time necessary to do it 
in. Nature not only facilitates in a most remarkable manner 
the execution of the necessary works, but also provides an 
assistant motive power for the transit of shipping by the fortunate 
variation in the level of the tides causing a current to flow each 
way alternately. My own experience, and a thorough investi- 
gation of the question, led me to fix three miles an hour as the 
maximum rate at which this current would flow, and the facts 
and observations upon which I arrived at such an opinion have 


since been submitted to the most scientific men of the day, who 
fully corroborate my conclusion. 

The requirements of the age demand this inter-oceanic junc- 
tion, and as every nation is interested in it, both politically and 
commercially, it is to be hoped that this undertaking will receive 
the cordial support of the civilised world. 

I am. Gentlemen, 

Your obedient Servant, 

41, Craven Street, Strand, 

London, 7th December, 1852. 


To the Provisional Directors of the Atlantic and Pacific Junction 


I request that you will allot to me 
Shares of £100 each, in the above Company; and I hereby 
undertake to accept the same, or any less number you may allot 
me, and pay the Deposit of 10s. per Share thereon, and to sign 
the Subscribers' Agreement when required. 

Dated this day of 

Name in full 

Place of business 


Business or Profession 


Name, Residence, 
Profession, and ] 



" The Times " and Sir Charles Fox. 

" A Company has been advertised for constructing an 
Atlantic and Pacific Junction Canal through the Isthmus 
of Darien, at a cost of j615,000,000 sterling. This route, 
it appears, has- never been actually surveyed, but some 
superficial observations lately made have led to the assump- 
tion that, if the levels should prove such as they are 
supposed to be, a canal capable of passing the largest vessels 
without locks might be excavated for the sum specified. 
That the revenue to be derived from a ship-canal between 
the oceans would be such as to repay even a very heavy 
expenditure is a conclusion long since arrived at by those 
who have most thoroughly investigated the question, but 
whether an outlay of £15,000,000 for a work that must be 
subsidiary to the Nicaragua Canal, every foot of which has 
been the subject of the most precise estimates, and which 
can be built so as to admit large ocean steamers, such as 
the Northern Light, for less than £4,000,000, will be found 
profitable, is a point upon which there woiild seem little 
difficulty in forming an opinion. The shares of the pro- 
posed Company are to be of £100 each, with a deposit of 
10s., and a conditional concession of the Line has been 
obtained from the government of New Granada, to whom 
the sura of £24,000 is to be paid within twelve months of 
its date."— T/ie Times of 8th Feb. 1853. 

The Isthmus of Darien. 

To the Editor of the Times. 

Sir, — I have seen with some regret, and I may say 

disappointment, the observations appearing in your 

City Article of this day on the subject of the proposed 

navigation across the Isthmus of Darien. 


Any observations appearing to emanate from you are 
entitled to so mucli weight, that I need not say it behoves 
any one, writing under your authority, to be very cautious 
in the opinions he expresses, lest in doing so he should 
damage or retard objects of public utility, which it is your 
whole policy and system to encourage and support. 

The article I refer to impugns the principle and prospects 
of the Darien undertaking substantially in three assumed 
positions, all based on a comparison with the proposed 
canal from St. Juan to the Gulf of Fonseca, known popu- 
larly as the Nicaragua Canal. The writer states, first, that 
the proposed navigation across the Isthmus of Darien must 
be subsidiary to the Nicaragua Canal. He states, secondly, 
that that canal can be executed, "so as to admit large 
ocean steamers, such as the Northern Light, for less than 
i64,000,000 sterling;" and he infers, thirdly, from these 
statements, that the navigation across the Isthmus of Darien 
would not pay, while he assumes that the Nicaragua Canal 
would be remunerative. 

These positions, I venture to say, are in many respects 
based upon incorrect data ; and I think I shall have no diffi- 
culty in satisfying you on that point. 

The necessity of a communication by sea between the 
Atlantic and Pacific Oceans being strongly felt both in the 
United States and in this country, it was recently proposed 
to construct a canal, commencing at St. Juan, on the shore . 
of the Atlantic, and proceeding through the Lake of 
Nicaragua, to the Gulf of Fonseca, on the Pacific. It was 
ascertained that this work could be executed, with a depth 
of water-way of about twelve feet, at an estimated cost of 
j£4, 000,000 sterling; but, on further considering the sub- 
ject, it appeared that this depth, though sufficient for the 
coasting and local traffic, was not adequate to the more 
general demands of commerce; and it was, therefore, sub- 
sequently proposed to increase the depth to seventeen feet, 
which was found to involve an increase of the cost to 
upwards of £6,000^000 sterling. The sufficiency of the 


depth thus increased was, however, considered so question- 
able, both by the English and American engineers, to 
whom the matter was referred, that it was proposed to ex- 
tend it to twenty feet ; but this alteration raised the estimate 
to about £10,000,000 sterling. In the policy of the original 
proposition, various capitalists and individuals of great 
eminence in this country and in the United States con- 
curred, upon the principle that the communication was 
expedient if it could be obtained at commensurate cost ; 
but further deliberation, and especially the increase of ex- 
pense attendant on increased depth, threw great doubt on 
the policy of the measure, especially as twenty feet was still 
greatly below the requirements of commerce, which nothing 
short of a depth of thirty feet could satisfy, the draught of 
vessels of the largest class at present being twenty-eight feet. 
Moreover, it appeared that in this work there would not be 
less, in the whole, than upwards of 100 miles of canalised 
river, besides much necessary expenditure in the lake of a 
very serious character. The passage was 195 miles in 
length ; there were twenty-eight locks in its course ; the 
period of transit was calculated at about six days ; the 
country was very unhealthy; and the annual cost of main- 
taining the canal very great. Under any circumstances, 
the canal could not be constructed to carry ships of all sizes, 
and at best, therefore, it constituted only a partial and 
imperfect work. Minor drawbacks connected with the 
position of the canal were felt, which it is not necessary 
here to notice. 

It was in this state of the inquiry that my attention was 
drawn to the subject, accompanied by a suggestion, that a 
means existed of opening the communication between the 
two oceans, which would accommodate the whole present 
and future traffic of the world, at a cost not materially, if 
at all, exceeding the proposed imperfect and incomplete 
measure. It appeared to me, that an object so vast was of 
importance sufficient to justify some expense and labour, 
and I resolved on despatching engineers to the spot. Mr. 


GIsborne accordingly proceeded thither witk his assistant, 
Mr. Ford; and, though it is true, in some sense, as the writer 
states, that " the land has not been actually surveyed," he 
examined the locality, he fathomed the water on both sides, 
and went over the ground, so at least as to satisfy himself 
of the height of the summit level and the nature of the soil. 
Mr. Gisborne's qualifications for such an investigation are 
well known, from his long experience under government 
in canal and other works, and his reputation is staked upon 
the correctness of his statements. He reported (and' his 
report is published) to the effect, that an open navigation, 
only 30 miles in length of 30 feet depth and 160 feet wide, 
terminating in a good harbour on each side, affording pas- 
sage in one tide for vessels, not only of the largest modern 
construction, but admitting of the increase now- in con- 
templation, can be constructed at a cost not exceeding, on 
a high estimate, £12,000,000 sterling. 

That the conclusion thus arrived at is not as absolutely 
certain, as if " every foot of the land had been the subject 
of precise estimate," as the writer assumes of the Nicaragua 
route, I freely admit; but I think you will agree with me, 
that the information obtained affords a very strong and 
cogent reason for concluding that the proposed selection of 
the Nicaragua route was a mistake, and that attention 
ought to be directed to this portion of the Isthmus. 

It is obvious that, if a means exist of opening a passage 
for the whole commerce of the world, navigable at all times, 
it must be greatly preferable to a close canal, which can 
accommodate ships only of a certain tonnage. It is further 
obvious, that if that passage, once opened, can be main- 
tained without cost, if it admits of transit in six hours 
instead of as many days, if it is free from the impediment of 
locks and canal navigation, and enjoys a good harbour at 
each terminus, it must be in principle greatly preferable. 
But if all this can be effected at little more than the cost of 
the proposed lesser work, with a depth of thirty feet instead 
of twenty, I think you will agree with me, that it will 


never, as tlie writer of tlie article assumes, be subsidiary to 
the Nicaragua route ; and even that, as regards this latter 
project, there is no fear that English or American capitalists 
will ever enter on a work so inherently imperfect and in- 
adequate. Moreover, if the one which can only accommo- 
date a portion of the traffic will pay, as assumed, it is clear 
that the other, which will accommodate the whole, must do 
so in a much higher degree. 

You will observe that, for the present, all the contem- 
plated proceedings of the Company proposed to be esta- 
blished are preliminary only. It is not suggested that it 
shall enter into costly measures without mature consider- 
tion and adequate support; but I venture to predict, that 
the result of further proceedings will be to confirm the 
conclusion already arrived at; and I am sure that, on the 
result, no one more than yourself will be rejoiced to find 
that English capital has not been embarked in an under- 
taking so unsatisfactory as the Nicaragua Canal, when there 
exist the means of opening out a passage for the traffic of 
the world, without let or hindrance, through a way pre- 
prepared by nature for an operation so entirely effective, 
and so completely within the power and skill of the human 
race, already evinced, in a much higher degree, and in 
works physically much more difficult. 

I have written this letter in great haste, and must apolo- 
gise if it betrays intrinsic evidence of this fact, while I must 
further express my regret at having been thus compelled, 
contrary to my wishes, to enter upon this comparison. 
I am, Sir, your obedient humble servant. 

Charles Fox. 
8, New-st., Spring-gardens, Feb. 8. 

From the Times of lOth Feb. 1853. 
A letter published to-day from Sir Charles Fox on the 
projected Darien Canal calls only for limited remark, as its 


allegations are inaccurate. Instead of the Nicaragua Canal 
being intended to run from San Juan del Norte to the 
Gulf of Fonseca, its Pacific terminus ■will be at Brito Bay. 
Instead of the estimate of its cost, even at 20 feet depth, 
being 10,000,000;., it is believed to be less than 7,000,000/. 
(including a most unusual addition for contingencies). 
Instead of the draught of any considerable number of 
modern vessels being 28 feet, that of La Plata,, the largest 
of the West India steamers, when she arrives at Southamp- 
ton, before baggage and cargo have been landed, is only 
between 18 and 19 feet. Instead of the work involving 
100 miles of canalised river, the surveys of Colonel Childs 
show only 47 miles. Instead of the country being very 
unhealthy, it has been demonstrated to be one of the most 
favorable districts within the tropics. Instead of the transit 
occupying six days, it is calculated to occupy between two 
and three days, about 700 miles being at the same time 
saved in the distance to California beyond what would be 
saved by a canal at Darien; and, finally, instead of there 
being " no fear that American capitalists will enter upon 
such a work" as the Nicaragua Canal, the necessity of 
hastening every political negotiation that would enable it to 
be commenced formed one of the prominent topics in the 
Message of President Fillmore last December, months after 
the whole details of the Darien scheme had been known 
and discussed in the United States. It is useless, moreover, 
to enter here upon arguments which can never have any 
satisfactory termination. During the past century, whenever 
the junction of the oceans has been recommended, the 
public have always been deterred from its accomplishment 
by the perplexities created from the advocates of rival routes 
contending each that his own scheme was perfect, and that 
all the others would prove ruinous or impracticable. The 
question, therefore, is never likely to be settled by theoret- 
ical disquisitions. Happily the time is arrived when the 
undertaking must be carried out somewhere; and inasmuch 
as the Americans are now every month crossing the isthmus 



by thousands, we may rely that the selection of the best 
line will soon be decided from the test of popular observation 
and experience. At that period the public — remembering 
that the New York Company, when they obtained their 
concession for the Nicaragua Canal, were willing to share it 
on equitable terms with this countiy — wiU be in a condition 
to form an opinion whether the general interests of the 
world were best understood by those who would have urged 
English capitalists to accept the invitation, or by those who 
have endeavoured to arouse them to furnish a separate sub- 
scription for 15,000,000Z. for Darien. Meanwhile it will 
not be irrational, at all events until the route for which the 
sum is contemplated has been actually crossed and surveyed, 
to decline entering into any controversy as to its com- 
parative merits. If the public can be persuaded that the 
Nicaragua Canal is not likely to be made, or that, being 
made, the Darien Canal will not be subsidiary to it either as 
to date of completion or convenience of traffic, or that after 
the world has for years been timidly hesitating at the idea of 
creating one canal it is now expedient to begin with 
two, they wiU, perhaps, be quite right in subscribing to the 
project; but as they can inform themselves upon these sub- 
jects with very little trouble, they will probably not consider 
the caution suggested yesterday as calculated in the interval 
to prove damaging in any way to the cause of sound com- 
mercial enterprise. — 

Isthmus of Darien. 
To the Editor of the Times. 
Sir, — In the letter I wrote to you, which appeared in The 
Times of yesterday, I stated that it was with regret I felt 
compelled to notice a paragraph in your City Article of 
Tuesday last on the subject of the proposed navigation 
across the Isthmus of Darien. 


I assure you it is witli feelings of actual pain that I find 
myself called upon to notice another article, emanating from 
the same pen, which appears in The Times of to-day, and I 
■will leave you to judge, on perusal of this letter, whether 
I have not good grounds for this feeling. 

In the article I refer to, the writer endeavours to dispose 
of my letter on the ground that " its allegations are inac- 
curate," and he makes, in substance, the following statement, 
which I shall proceed to answer seriatim : 

In contradicting my statement, that a draught of 30 feet 
is not too great for the demands of vessels as they now 
exist, he states that the draught of La Plata, the largest of 
the West India steamers, is only between 18 and 19 feet. 
The fact, which I have ascertained from the office of the 
owners of the vessel, is that when that ship leaves South- 
ampton for the West Indies her draught is within two 
inches of 22 feet, and that of the Orinoco rather more. 
But the writer does not state a fact important to the real 
merits of the question between us — viz., that the steam 
vessels Atlantic and Pacific, of Collins' line, both draw 
about 25 feet, and he must be well aware, when writing on 
such a subject for the information of the public, that vessels 
of war, which it is presumed are not to be excluded from 
this passage, draw 28 feet. 

The second statement the writer makes, on the authority 
of Colonel Childs, the engineer of the Nicaragua scheme 
(whose able report has been published), is in efiect that the 
canal with 20 feet of water can be constructed at a cost 
under 7,000,000/. sterling, " and that instead of the work 
involving 100 miles of canalised rivers, the surveys of 
Colonel Childs show only 47 miles." 

Now, I have at this moment Colonel Childs' report before 
me, with the promoter's autograph upon it, and at page 137 
I find the estimate for the depth of 17 feet to be 
^31,538,319, which at the present rate of exchange is equal' 
to 6,570,483/. sterling, being above the sum stated in my 
letter. Again, at page 90, Colonel Childs states that in 

K 2 


order to attain a depth of 22 feet, wMcli had been con- 
sidered desirable, the water section would be increased 
about 45 per cent., " and the expense of the inland portion 
would also, by reason of the greater depth of excavation, 
be increased in a still higher ratio." On this statement, I 
leave you to judge whether I was incorrect in quoting the 
authority referred to by your writer for the fact that the 
increase of depth to 20 feet involved an outlay of about 
10,000,000/., instead of 6,000,000/. But further, I have 
reason to know that the English engineers employed in this 
country by the promoters of the Nicaragua scheme for the 
satisfaction of the English capitalists, and of whose report 
it is scarcely to be supposed the writer could be ignorant, 
came also to the conclusion that the making of the canal 
20 feet deep would amount to upwards of ^48,000,000, or 
10,000,000/. sterling. 

In reference to the writer's statement, that the surveys 
of Colonel Childs show only 47 miles of canalised river, I 
cannot do better than quote the actual figures from his 
report at page 88 as follows: — 

" 47.09 miles of canal navigation. 

" 90.80 miles of river navigation. 

" 56.50 miles of lake navigation." 

In my letter I stated, that out of a length of 195 miles 
upwards of 100 miles consisted of canalised river. Again, 
on this point I leave you to judge, upon the writer's own 
authority, whether I overstated the facts. 

The writer further states, that, instead of the transit 
through the suggested Nicaragua canal occupying six days, 
it will occupy between two and three days. Now, on' turn- 
ing to page 88 of Colonel Childs' report you will find that 
he estimates the passage for sailing vessels at 3^ days; but 
on looking at the calculation you will see that he allows a 
detention of only half-an-hour at each lock, and assumes the 
vessels to be in continuous progress of transit, both day and 
night. This is practically impossible. At least, I am not 
aware of any analogous case. And I again ask whether I 


was not within a fair estimate of the practical result when I 
allowed for it six working days ? 

Other minor points are advanced in the article — as, for 
instance, that the Nicaragua Canal is intended to terminate 
in Brito Bay, instead of the Gulf of Fonseca; and that, 
instead of the country being unhealthy, the territory of 
Nicaragua is " one of the most favourable districts in the 
tropics." As to the first point, I spoke of the Gulf of Fon- 
seca, because it has some aptitudes for a harbour which are 
wholly wanting in Brito Bay ; and on the second point, I 
do not understand the sense in which the writer uses the 
word " favourable," as it is notorious that the neighbour- 
hood of Greytown, the Atlantic entrance to the Nicaragua 
route, is one of the most unhealthy in that part of the 

It is true, that in a voyage from New York to California 
a distance of something like 700 miles (as stated by the 
writer) would be saved by the Nicaragua route, but then 
the gain in time by the short passage through the Isthmus 
of Darien would more than counterbalance the increase of 
distance even to that portion of the traffic ; while to the 
British and general commerce of the world the Darien navi- 
gation would be decidedly preferable both in time and 

I have now, I believe, noticed all the positions advanced 
by the writer in assailing my former statement. 

It is not for me to offer any opinion upon the correctness 
of the charges or the sufficiency of the answers ; but I think 
I may be allowed to ask whether the whole tone of the 
writer's articles does not evince rather the spirit of a par- 
tisan advocating the Nicaragua route, than the impartial 
judgment of a journalist reviewing a question which may 
perhaps be fairly termed the most important of the present 

I remain. Sir, your most obedient, humble servant, 

Charles Fox. 

8, New-street, Spring-gardens, Feb. 10. 

From the City Article of The Times, 11th Feb., 1853, 


It will require forbearance on the Darien question to 
avoid an interminable altercation. It was stated, with 
reference to the letter of Sir Charles Fox, inserted on 
Wednesday, that he had been inaccurate in speaking of 
the proposed terminus of the Nicaragua Canal as being at 
the Gulf of Fonseca, whereas it is at Brito Bay. To this 
Sir Charles replies: — "I spoke of the Gulf of Fonseca 
because it has some aptitudes for a harbour which are 
wholly wanting in Brito Bay." The point, however, of the 
actual position of the terminus, and not of its capabilities, 
as compared with any other site, was alone under discussion. 
It was next stated that, instead of the estimate for a '20 
feet canal being £10,000,000, it was believed to be under 
£7,000,000. To meet this it is observed, that Colonel 
Childs' estimate for one of 17 feet was £6,570,000; that he 
had spoken of the extended outlay that would be required 
for one of 22 feet, and that certain English engineers 
had stated their opinion that one of 20 feet would cost 
£10,000,000. But it was Colonel Childs' estimates, and 
not those of any other engineers, English or foreign, that 
were to be kept in view. There are, doubtless, English 
engineers who would assert, for instance, that the Darien 
Canal would cost £30,000,000 instead of 15,000,000, but, 
imless they could demonstrate that assertion, it would be 
very unfair to quote it against the results of practical calcu- 
lations. It is true, that Colonel Childs' first estimates for a 
17 feet canal amounted to £6,570,000 (a sum which was 
created by adding £3,920,000 to what it would cost if it 
were in a different latitude, and could be executed at New 
York prices). But it was found also, that his original plans 
contained some heavy work that might be dispensed with, 
particulars of which will be seen in the last page of his 
report ; while it is likewise generally understood that many 
months back the New York company stated, with his full 
cognizance, that they could undertake to put the entire 
canal at 20 feet depth, if such depth were desired, under 
contract with the most responsible American firms for 


£6,000,000. It was next stated, that " instead of the 
draught of any considerable number of modern vessels be- 
ing 28 feet, that La Plata, the largest of the West India 
steamers, when she arrives at Southampton, before baggage 
and cargo have been landed, is only between 18 and 19 feet/' 
To this it is replied, that her draught when she leaves 
Southampton is 21 feet 10 inches, and that under similar 
circumstances the Atlantic and Pacific of Collins's line both 
draw about 25 feet. But La Plata, when she arrives at 
San Juan, is in the same condition as when she arrives at 
Southampton : and, as it would be under such circumstances 
that she would require to pass the canal, her draught at any 
other period was not the thing in question. The excep- 
tional fact that two of Collins's steamships draw about 25 
feet, makes nothing against the assertion that " no consider- 
able number of modern vessels have a draught of 28 feet.'' 
If the proprietors of the Collins line will subscribe the four 
or five extra millions of pounds that may be demanded, in 
order to adapt the proposed canal to their few vessels, there 
would be no difficulty in their being accommodated ; but^ 
inasmuch as the question about depth was solely in relation 
to " the requirements of commerce," and the average burden 
of the vessels of Great Britain and the United States trading 
to the Pacific is only about 380 tons, it would be too much 
to include among these requirements the passage of vessels 
that would not pay a fraction of interest for the outlay they 
had occasioned. In the same way, the fact that ships-of-war 
have been known to draw 28 feet, must be excluded from 
considerations based simply on mercantile wants, and the 
return to be obtained for money of private shareholders. 
If either the Ens;lish or American government desire that 
a company, which could rely upon large profits for an outlay 
of £4,000,000 or £6,000,000, should increase their ex- 
penditure to double or treble that amount to meet their 
special convenience^ they can at any time commence nego-' 
tiations for that purpose. It was next stated, that instead 
of the country being very unhealty, it is one of the most 


favourable districts within tlie tropics. To this Sir Charles 
replies, " I do not understand the sense in which the writer 
uses the word ' favourable,' as it is notorious that the 
neighbourhood of Greytown, the Atlantic entrance to the 
Nicaragua route, is one of the most unhealthy in that part 
of the world." But Greytown does not constitute Nica- 
ragua, any more than the Pontine Marshes constitute the 
Roman States. All the Atlantic ports of Central America 
are unhealthy, but there is no occasion to remain at them, 
and the interior of Nicaragua^ which in the time of the 
Spanish dominion was the most thickly peopled of the 
Central American colonies, is described, by those who have 
experienced most of it, to be " unsurpassed in salubrity by 
any equal extent of territory under the tropics." " Both 
climate and temperature," says Lieutenant Bailey, " appear 
to be extremely favourable to the general health of natives 
as well as of foreigners, the exceptions being very few, and of 
trifling consequence, in the injury which they occasion." 
The next statement was, that instead of the work involving 
100 miles of canalized river, the surveys of Colonel Childs 
show only 47 miles. Sir Charles points out, however, that 
the route consists of 47 miles of actual canal, and 90 miles 
of river navigation; and, although the greater part of 
this river navigation requires little outlay, it is to be 
presumed that he is right in speaking of it as canal- 
ized, since its level is raised by occasional dams and 
locks. The next statement was, that instead of the transit 
occupying six days, it is calculated to occupy only between 
two and three. In reply to this, Sir Charles admits that 
Colonel Childs estimates the passage of sailing vessels at 3 J 
days (without any acknowledgment being made that he 
estimates it for steamers at only two days). At the same 
time a denial is given of Colonel Childs' correctness; but 
with the disputes of authorities upon such a point unpro- 
fessional persons can have nothing to do. The only thing 
under discussion was Colonel Childs' report as it stood. 
Finally, the most important statement of all was, that 


instead of there being " no fear that American capitalists 
"will enter upon such, a work," the necessity of hastening 
every political negotiation that would enable it to be com- 
menced formed one of the prominent topics in the last 
message of President Fillmore. But with regard to this 
correction, although the whole question as to whether the 
Darien would be subsidiary to the Nicaragua Canal is 
affected by it, no remark or acknowledgment is made. 
Every one of the statements of which Sir Charles complains 
has now been gone through, besides that to which he has 
omitted to refer, and which was the most important of the 
whole. The public can consequently judge whether they 
contained a single word that could warrant him in protest- 
ing that he could not notice without "actual pain" — in 
speaking of his statements as having been improperly as- 
sailed — and, finally, in resorting to the personality of ques- 
tioning the spirit and motives with which the remarks upon 
them were put forward. If no one is to question Sir 
Charles Fox's views, or even to speak of inaccuracies in 
them, without a risk of this sort, when the question^ as he 
himself admits, is one of the most important of the present 
age, and when proposals are being issued to the public for 
a subscription of j615, 000,000, there must be an end of all 
discussion upon anything in which he is concerned. At 
all events, those who most admire his splendid energies, 
and who feel the greatest pleasure in the reputation he has 
attained, will be careful to do him the justice which in such 
cases he may neglect to maintain for himself, by declining 
to continue arguments which cannot, without a resort to 
imputations, be further carried on upon equal terms. — 
From the Times of 12th Feb. 

The Isthmus of Daeien. 
To the Editor of the Times. 
Sir, — The tone of the concluding observations of the 


■writer of your City article of tbis day is such, as to deprive 
me alike of the power and the inclination further to pursue 
a course of observations which appear' to convey to his 
mind an impression of personality, however contrary to my 

Allow me, however, in conclusion, simply to state the 
broad grounds which induced me to decide in favour ol the 
Parien route, and to ask eminent men to join me in invit- 
ing the public to raise j675,000 for the preliminary deve- 
lopment of this project, instead of adopting the previous 
Nicaragua scheme. 

The Darien navigation, as proposed, will be 40 miles 
long, 30 feet deep, without locks, and with an excellent 
natural harbour at each end. 

The Nicaragua Canal, as proposed, would be 195 miles 
long, 17 feet deep, with 28 locks, and between harbours 
artificially constructed and still altogether inadequate. 

At equal depths the Darien navigation could be made 
for less than half the sum which the Nicaragua must cost. 
But no depth short of 30 feet will accommodate all the 
shipping which could benefit by the passage. The Darien 
navigation, therefore, once made, will be a perfect and 
complete measure; while the Nicaragua Canal, at 17, or 
even 20 feet, would afford at best imperfect and limited 

Thanking you for the courtesy which has accorded to 
me so much of your space, 

I am. Sir, your obedient, humble servant, 

Charles Fox. 

8, New-street, Spring-gardens, Feb. 12. 
— From the T^mes of 14th Feb. 

The Most Practical Nation. 
To the Editor of the Times. 
Sir, — I have read with much satisfaction a letter signed 
" Nemo," in which the writer, among many other sound 


observations^ alludes to tlie great waste of money and 
valuable energy in the futile attempts to find a north-west 
passage through the ice of the Polar regions from the 
Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, while at the same time our 
Government has wholly neglected the vastly more important 
question of a feasible ship-canal route across the narrow 
barrier which, from Mexico to the terra firma of New 
Granada, separates the two oceans. 

So just are his observations, that I cannot avoid mention- 
ing a fact which I have lately ascertained, and which most 
powerfully corroborates his assertions of the singular apathy 
which has hitherto prevailed regarding a country lying 
within 18 days' direct steaming from England, and four 
days' of Jamaica. Upon examining the Admiralty charts, 
with a view to the compilation of a full and accurate map 
of the whole Isthmus, I found to my amazement that there 
was a discrepancy of no less than 13 J miles in the longitudes 
of the isthmus in two consecutive charts, — viz., Nos. 10 and 
11 of the West Indies. Lest this most extraordinary error 
may be doubted, I may make reference to the longitude of 
Garachine Point, the southern boundary of the mouth of 
the Gulf of San Miguel which is laid down in sheet 10 as 
in longitude 78' 10', andin sheet 11 as in longitude 78° 235'. 
Volumes could not more strongly show the urgent necessity 
of at least a survey of the coasts, and of the publication of 
Captain Kellett's chart, which, however, only contains the 
Pacific coast. 

The writer proceeds to state his opinion of the probability 
of the existence of a transverse valley, of low elevation, 
somewhere across the isthmus, and will no doubt be pleased 
to learn, not only that a valley has been found, but that in 
a line across the isthmus of Darien, firom Caledonia Bay 
and Port Escosces, the site of the Scotch settlement of 
1698-99, to the Gulf of San Miguel, the whole country is 
a plain, with the exception of a single ridge of hills, at two 
miles distance from the Atlantic, with a base of only two 
miles in width, and that this ridge is divided by transverse 


valleys (througi. whlcli the Aglaseniqua, Aglatomate, and 
other rivers have their course) into almost isolated hills, as 
has been minutely explained in my paper read before the 
British Association at their Edinburgh meeting in July 
1850, in my report, to Lord Palmerston, dated 15th of 
January, 1851, and in a pamplet on the " Isthmus of Darien 
Ship Canal," lately published by me. 

Not satisfied with crossing the Isthmus once only in 1849, 
I returned again from the Atlantic to the Pacific, having 
cut a picadura, or track, for myself through the bush, from 
Port Escosces to the river Savana, which I navigated always, 
except on one occasion, alone, paddling myself in a little 
canoe. In 1850 I again crossed and recrossed this part of 
the Isthmus, and again in August and September, 1851, 
I at several times, and in different lines, crossed from the 
Savana Eiver to the seabeach on the Atlantic. Further, 
I have resided on several occasions with the Indians who 
dwell at some distance from the route; and have invariably 
been kindly treated by them, and more particularly by those 
who reside on the banks of the Aglaseniqua or Caledonia 
Eiver, called by the old Scotch colonists Rio del Oro, or 
Golden Eiver. 

Thus more has been done in the exploration of the 
Isthmus than " Nemo" appears to be aware of; though what 
has been discovered has been the result of personal and 
private enterprise and adventure, and not of any assistance 
from Government or any public company. 

I am. Sir, your most obedient, tumble servant, 

Edward Cullen, M.D. 

302, Strand, Feb. 14. 

From The Times of 16th February. 


Convention between Her Majesty and the United States 
of America, relative to the Establishment of a Com- 
munication by Ship-Canal between the Atlantic and 
Pacific Oceans. 

Signed at Washington, April 19, 1850. 

[Ratifications exchanged at Washington, July 4, 1850.] 

Presented to both Homes of Parliament, hy command of 
Her Majesty, August, 1850. 

Her Britannic Majesty and the United States of Ame- 
rica being desirous of consolidating the relations of amity 
•which so happily subsist between them, by setting forth and 
fixing in a Convention their views and intentions with 
reference to any means of communication by Ship-Canal, 
which may be constructed between the Atlantic and Pacific 
Oceans, by the way of the River St. Juan de Nicaragua, 
and either or both of the Lakes of Nicaragua or Managua, 
to any port or place on the Pacific Ocean ; 

Her Britannic Majesty has conferred full powers on the 
Eight I'lonourable Sir Henry Lytton Bulwer, a Member of 
Her Majesty's Privy Council, Knight Commander of the 
Most Honourable Order of the Bath, and Envoy Extraor- 
dinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of Her Britannic 
Majesty to the United States; and the President of the 
United States, on John M. Clayton, Secretary of State of 
the United States, for the aforesaid purpose; and the said 
Plenipotentiaries having exchanged their full powers, which 
were found to be in proper form, have agreed to the follow- 
ing Articles. 

Article I. 

The Governments of Great Britain and the United States 
hereby declare that neither the one nor the other will ever 
obtain or maintain for itself an exclusive control over the 


said Ship-Canal; agreeing that neither will ever erect or 
maintain any fortifications commanding the same, or in the 
vicinity thereof, or occupy, or fortify, or colonise, or assume 
or exercise any dominion over Nicaragua, Costa Rica, the 
Mosquito Coast, or any part of Central America; nor -will 
either make use of any protection which either affords, or 
may afford^ or any alliance which either has, or may have, 
to or with any State of people, for the purpose of erecting 
or maintaining any such fortifications, or of occupying, for- 
tifying, or colonising Nicaragua, Costa Rica, or the Mos- 
quito Coast, or any part of Central America, or of assuming 
or exercising dominion over the same. Nor will Great 
Britain or the United States take advantage of any intimacy 
or use any alliance, connection, or influence that either may 
possess with any State or Government through whose terri- 
tory the said canal may pass, for the purpose of acquiring 
or holding, directly or indirectly, for the subjects or citizens 
of the one, any rights or advantages in regard to commerce 
or navigation through the said canal, which shall not be 
offered, on the same terms, to the subjects or citizens of the 

Article II. 

Vessels of Great Britain or the United States traversing 
the said canal shall, in case of war between the Contracting 
Parties, be exempted from blockade, detention, or capture 
by either of the belligerents ; and this provision shall extend 
to such a distance from the two ends of the said canal as 
may hereafter be found expedient to establish. 

Article III. 
In order to secure the construction of the said canal, the 
Contracting Parties engage that if any such canal shall be 
undertaken upon fair and equitable terms by any parties 
having the authority of the Local Government or Govern- 
ments through whose territory the same may pass, then the 
persons employed in making the said canal, and their pro- 
perty used or to be used for that object, shall be protected,^ 


from tlie commencement of the said canal to its completion, 
by tlie Governments of Great Britain and the United States, 
from unjust detention, confiscation, seizure, or any violence 

Article IV. 

The Contracting Parties will use whatever influence they 
respectively exercise with any State, States, or Governments 
possessing, or claiming to possess, any jurisdiction or right 
over the territory which the said canal shall traverse, or 
which shall be near the waters applicable thereto, in order 
to induce such States or Governments to facilitate the con- 
struction of the said canal by every means in their power ; and 
furthermore. Great Britain and the United States agree to 
use their good offices, wherever or however tt may be most 
expedient, in order to procure the establishment of two free 
ports, one at each end of the said canal. 

Article V. 

The Contracting Parties further engage that when the 
said canal shall have been completed, they will protect it 
&om interruption, seizure, or unjust confiscation, and that 
they will guarantee the neutrality thereof, so that the said 
canal may for ever be open and free, and the capital invested 
therein secure. Nevertheless, the Governments of Great 
Britain and the United States, in according their protection 
to the construction of the said canal, and guaranteeing its 
neutrality and security when completed, always understand 
that this protection and guarantee are granted conditionally, 
and may be withdrawn by both Governments, or either 
Government, if both Governments or either Government 
should deem that the persons or company undertaking or 
managing the same adopt or establish such regulations con- 
cerning the traffic thereupon, as are contrary to the spirit 
and intention of this Convention : either by making unfair 
discriminations in favour of the commerce of one of the 
Contracting Parties over the commerce of the other, or by 
imposing oppressive exactions, or unreasonable tolls upon. 


passengers, vessels, goods, wares^ merchandize, or other 
articles. Neither party, however, shall withdraw the afore- 
said protection and guarantee, without first giving six 
months' notice to the other. 

Article VI. 

The Contracting Parties in this Convention engage to 
invite every State with which both or either have friendly 
intercourse, to enter into stipulations with them similar to 
those which they have entered into with each other, to the 
end that all other States may share in the honour and ad- 
vantage of having contributed to a work of such general 
interest and importance as the canal herein contemplated; 
and the Contracting Parties likewise agree that each shall 
enter into treaty stipulations with such of the Central 
American States as they may deem advisable, for the pur- 
pose of more effectually carrying out the great design of 
this Convention; namely, that of constructing and main- 
taining the said canal as a ship communication between the 
two Oceans for the benefit of mankind, on equal terms to 
all, and of protecting the same; and they also agree that 
the good offices of either shall be employed, when requested 
by the other, in aiding and assisting the negotiation of such 
treaty stipulations; and should any differences arise as to 
right or property over the territory through which the said 
canal shall pass, between the States or Governments of 
Central America, and such differences should in any way 
impede or obstruct the execution of the said canal, the 
Governments of Great Britain and the United States will 
use their good offices to settle such differences in the manner 
best suited to promote the interests of the said canal, and 
to strengthen the bonds of friendship and alliance which 
exist between the Contracting Parties. 

Article VII. 

It being desirable that no time should be unnecessarily 
lost in commencing and constructing the said canal, the 


Governments of Great Britain and the United States deter- 
mine to give their support and encouragement to such 
persons or company as may first offer to commence the same 
■with the necessary capital, the consent of the local autho- 
rities, and on such principles as accord with the spirit and 
intention of this Convention; and if any persons or com- 
pany should already have, with any State ' through which 
the proposed Ship-canal may pass, a contract for the con- 
struction of such a canal as that specified in this Convention, 
to the stipulations of which contract neither of the Con- 
tracting Parties in this Convention have any just cause to 
object, and the said persons or Company shall, moreover, 
have made preparations and expended time, money, and 
trouble on the faith of such contract, it is hereby agreed, 
that such persons or company shall have a priority of claim 
over every other person, persons, or company, to the pro- 
tection of the Governments of Great Britain and the United 
States, and be allowed a year, from the date of the exchange 
of the ratifications of this 'conv'?ation, for concluding their 
arrangements, and presenting evidence of sufficient capital 
subscribed to accomplish the contemplated undertaking; 
it being understood that if, at the expiration of the afore- 
said period, such persons or company be not able to com- 
mence and carry out the proposed enterprise, then the 
Governments of Great Britain and the United States shall 
be free to afford their protection to any otlier persons or 
company that shall be prepared to commence and proceed 
with the construction of the canal in question. 

Article VIII. 

The Governments of Great Britain and the United States 
having not only desired, in entering into this Convention, 
to accomplish a particular object, but also to establish a 
general principle, they hereby agree* to extend their pro- 
tection by treaty stipulations to any other practicable com- 

* This extends the provisos of the Treaty to the Darien Ship- 
Canal Company, E.G. 



munications, whether by canal or railway, across the 
isthmus which connects North and South America; and 
especially to the inter-oceanic communications, should the 
same prove to be practicable, whether by canal or railway, 
which are now proposed to be established by the way of 
Tehuantepec or Panama. In granting, however, their 
joint protection to any such canals or railways as are by 
this Article specified, it is always understood by Great 
Britain and the United States, that the parties constructing 
or owning the same shall impose no other charges or con- 
ditions of traffic thereupon than the aforesaid Governments 
shall approve of as just and equitable; and that the same 
canals or railways, being open to the subjects and citizens 
of Great Britain and the United States on equal terms, shall 
also be open on like terms to the subjects and citizens of 
every other State which is willing to grant thereto such 
protection as Great Britain and the United States engage 
to afford. 

Article IX. 

The Katifications of this Gonv-ention shall be exchanged 
at Washington within six months from this day, or sooner 
if possible. 

In faith whereof we, the respective Plenipotentiaries, 
have signed this Convention, and have hereunto aifixed our 

Done at Washington, the nineteenth day of April, Anno 
Domini, One thousand eight hundred and fifty. 






" Eighteen years had elapsed from the first discovery 
of San Salvador, one of the Bahama group, by the adven- 
turous Columbus,* before Spain attempted to form a settle- 
ment on the shores of Terra Fir ma; and it was only in the year 
510 that Vasco Nunez de Balboa first attempted the establish- 
ment of a colony, somewhere in the marshy and insalubrious 
district which constitutes the delta embraced within the 
mouths of the great river of Choc6, best known by the 
name of the Atrato, which pours its accumulated waters into 
the south-western angle of the Gulf of Darien. This settle- 
ment, which was named by its founder Santa Maria el 
Antigua, being found, in its swampy and uncleared condi- 
tion, little favourable to the health of the European residents, 
was abandoned by its population after a calamitous trial 
of not more than eight years, and the settlement transferred 
to the site of the present city of Panama :t while not a 
vestige remains to mark the spot where Balboa first pitched 
his tents. 

" After an interval of nearly two centuries, during which 
the arms of Spain had been unable to subjugate the warlike 
Indians, who claimed the territory as their ancient and 
rightful inheritance, nearly the same spot was selectedj by 
our enlightened and enterprising countryman, Paterson, for 
the site of his colony, New Caledonia, which — had not the 
blindness of commercial jealousy, and the total ignorance 
of those fundamental principles which form the surest 
foundation of commercial prosperity, blighted it in the 
bud — would have proved itself, in the course of time, one 
of the brightest and the richest of the jewels which adorn 
the British crown. 

* October, 1492. + a.d. 1518. % a.d. 1699. 

L 2 


" Of this bold, but unfortunate undertaking, Dalrjonple, in 
the second volume of his valuable ' Memoirs of Great 
Britain and Ireland,' lias given an interesting and instruc- 
tive account, from which, as it is not in the hands of every 
reader, I shall extract such particulars as are requisite for 
the illustration of my subject. 

" Paterson, as Dalrymple acquaints us, was a Scotch clergy- 
man, who made" his profession subservient to a strong desire 
to explore distant regions, and visit foreign lands. With 
this view, he visited the continent of South America, in the 
capacity of a missionary for the civilisation of the Indians, 
and their conversion to Christianity. 

"In the prosecution of these laudable designs, it was his 
fortune to fall in with two individuals, of considerable 
celebrity and no small amount of observation ; these were 
Captain Dampier and Mr. Wafer, both of whom afterwards 
gave to the world the result of their experience, the one in 
an account of his voyages, and the other of his travels 
through the narrowest parts of that ridge of partition which 
has for ages prevented the waters of the tropical Atlantic 
from mingling with those of the Pacific. But the greatest 
amount of his information was derived from the buccaneers,, 
whose contraband occupations brought them practically 
acquainted with the most intricate parts of the country in- 
terposed between the two seas. From these sources Pater- 
son was enabled to gather an amount of information, the 
exactness of which he resolved to verify by personal obser- 
vation ; the result of which was, that he ascertained the 
existence, in the Isthmus of Darien, of a tract of country, 
extending from the Atlantic to the Pacific, of which the 
Spaniards never had been able to obtain possession, and 
with the Indian inhabitants of which they carried on per- 
petual hostilities; that there lay a chain of uninhabited 
islands along the Atlantic side of the coast, clothed with 
perennial forests, and possessing great natural strength, the 
■seas adjoining which abounded in turtle and the sea-cow 
or manatee. 


' " He furtlier learned that, between Porto Bello and Cartlia- 
gena, at the distance of about fifty leagues from each, there was 
a place called Acta,§ near the mouth of the river of Darien, 
or Atrato, where there was a natural harbour, sufficiently 
spacious to admit the largest fleet, sheltered from the wind 
by a number of islands, which broke the force of the sea, 
and protected from the assaults of enemies by a promontory 
which commanded the entrance, as well as by sunken rocks 
in the passage itself; that on the Pacific side of this tract of 
country, there were other harbours, equally commodious 
and secure ; while an elevated ridge traversed the interme- 
diate space, on which the temperature was at all times 
deliciously cool, covered with forests unencumbered with 
underwood, and affording a free passage to the wind, so as 
to prevent the accumulation of moisture beneath their shade. 
And he ascertained also, that the soil of this elevated region 
was rich and productive, yielding spontaneously tropical 
fruits, plants, and roots, in the greatest profusion; that the 
whole of this tract was well adapted for the construction of 
loads, by which a passage might be effected between the 
two seas within the compass of a day. 

" Such is the substance of the information collected by this 
enterprising Scotchman in the course of his peregrinations, 
and out of which sprang the idea which suggested itself to 
his active mind, of rendering this favoured spot conducive 
to the prosperity of his native land. 

" He was well aware that ships going free and pursuing a 
course nearly direct, were navigated by fewer bands, en- 
countered fewer dangers, and reached their port of destina- 
tion in less time than those which required greater diversity 
of winds; which were more exposed to detention by calms, 
and had to seek their port by a more tortuous course. 
Vessels of the largest tonnage, he well knew, were to be met 
with in the South Sea, navigated by a very reduced number 
of hands, who had little other labour to perform than 

§ This is Agla, or Aglaseniqua in Caledonia Bay, e.c. 


adjusting their sails in a proper trim to suit the direction 
of the wind, at the commencenient of their voyage, and 
taking their turn at the helm to keep their vessel to her 
course. He likewise knew, that vessels bound to Darien, 
after gaining the latitude of the trade-winds, glided along 
to their destination with even greater ease and security 
than when floating down the placid stream of the gentlest 

"By taking, therefore, the direction of Darien, and forming 
a ship-canal, or other line of communication, between it and 
such a point on the coast of the Pacific as would allow a 
vessel departing from it to clear the Punta Mariata, at the 
extreme south-western extremity of the -deep bay of Panama, 
the voyage to India must, he conceived, not only be 
abridged of much of its duration by the accustomed route, 
but be disarmed of more than a moiety of its hazards; 
while the whole distance being accomplished within one 
hemisphere, the harassing and often injurious calms which 
prevail in the vicinity of the equinoctial, would be escaped. 

"He was equally aware that vessels, on their return from 
India, by proceeding as far north as the 40th parallel, fell 
in with the winds invariably blowing in that latitude from 
the westward, and, by availing themselves of these to 
reach the coast of Mexico, they were enabled to take ad- 
vantage of the land-winds which blow with almost equal 
regularity from north to south, propelling them with a 
flowing sheet to the entrance of the Bay of Panama, whence, 
by trimming their sails to suit the direction of the trade- 
winds, a slightly oblique course would conduct them back 
to the point of the coast of Darien from which they ori- 
ginally departed ; after which the dangers of their homeward 
navigation would be those only which are incidental to 
every homeward-bound voyage from the West Indies. 

" Such were the considerations which influenced Paterson 
in the selection of a site for his projected colony, the success 
of which wouM have conferred incalculable advantages, not 
only upon the land of his nativity, but upon the distant 


shores of India and China, and have broken down that iron 
barrier which has so long excluded the populous empire of 
Japan from the blessings of Christianity and civilisation. 

" But the mind of Paterson we may well imagine to have 
been, in some degree, likewise influenced by the discovery 
of gold in some parts of the Isthmus, and the expectation 
of meeting it in still greater profusion, from its constituting 
a continuation of the auriferous and platiniferous soil of the 

" Amid, however, the dazzling temptations of all these 
brilliant advantages, Paterson never once lost sight of the 
claims of others, in the eager pursuit of his own views. 
Treading in the worthy steps of the illustrious founder of 
the State of Pennsylvania, instead of imbruing his hands in 
the blood of the Indians, and taking by brute force that to 
which he had no honest claim, he entered into a negociation 
with them for the purchase of the territory required for his 
colony, upon equitable terms; and having thus obtained an 
unquestionable right to the soil, named his acquisition New 
Caledonia, and fixed upon the ancient Acta as the site 
of his first town, to which he gave the appellation of Saint 

" This town was situated on a harbour, inclosed on one 
side by a narrow tongue of land, which divided it from the 
sea; and on the other, by a mountain, which rose, as was 
estimated, to the altitude of a mile, crowned with a signal- 
station, commanding a rich and extensive prospect, where 
persons were constantly stationed to keep a vigilant look- 
out, and give prompt notice of any impending danger. The 
settlement was further protected by a fort, mounting fifty 
pieces of ordnance. Besides attending to the security of 
his infant colony against external assault, Paterson provided 
for its commercial prosperity, with the far-seeing eye of a 
liberal and enlightened statesman; not only freeing com- 
merce from all those unwise obstructions which the igno- 
rance of our forefathers foolishly introduced, but liberating 
the mind from all those shackles of human creeds, which, 


borrowing their tenets from sources at variance with the 
Scripture, exalt sectarianism above Christianity. Paterson 
presented the rare example of a clergyman devoid of bigotry, 
and holding out the right hand of Christian fellowship to 
all who chose to enrol themselves in his colony, without 
distinction of complexion, of country, or of creed — recollect- 
ing the important truth propounded by the apostle, that 
' of one blood hath God made all the nations of the earth.' 

" The failure of this attempt to divert the tide of commerce 
with the countries bordering on the Pacific from the long' 
established routes hitherto pursued to the central isthmus 
of America, arose from causes which are little likely to 
recur at the present day, and none from any real impractica- 
bility in the scheme, or from the malaria arising from the 
swampy and feverish character uf the uncleared and undrained 

The William Paterson here mentioned was the founder 
of the Bank of England, a plan from which he derived no 
advantages, it having been taken out of his hands by larger 
capitalists, who went to the extent of even denying his 
right at the time, either to remuneration or original property 
in the conception. Bishop Burnett, indeed, who stopped at 
nothing in behalf of his hero, King William III., readily 
discredits Paterson's claims, as may be seen by a reference to 
his history, or to the Gentlemans Magazine, vol. Ixii. p. 990, 
where some curious passages are collected on this point. 
Posterity, however, has done him justice ; and in Mr. Francis's 
History of the Bank of England, an elaborate memoir of 
William Paterson- appears, as the acknowledged first 
Governor, and originator of that admirable institution. 

Into the early details of the difficulties Paterson met with 

* I am indebted for the above to the first of a series of exceed- 
ingly interesting and beautiful " Letters on the advantages and 
practicability of forming a junction between the Atlantic and 
Pacific Oceans," from the learned Dr. Hamilton, of Plymouth, to 
S. Banister, Esq., in Colbiirn'a New Monthly Magazine, from 
July to December, 1850. 


in forming liis company for colonising Darien, it is not my 
purpose to enter. It may, however, be interesting to give 
the names of the original parties and promoters, as they 
appear in the " Act for the Company trading to Africa and 
the Indies," 1695:— 

John, Lord Belhaven. 

Adam Cockburn, of Ormestown. 

Lord Justice Clerk. 

Mr. Francis Montgomery, of Giffen. 

Sir John Maxwell, of Pollock. 

Sir Robert Chiesly. 

John Swinton, present Provost of Edinburgh, of that ilk. 

Mr. Eobert Blackwood, | j^^^^j^^^^^ .^ Edinburgh. 

Mr. James Balfour, ) 

Mr. John Corss, Merchant in Glasgow. 

William Paterson, 

James Fowlis, 

David Nairn, 

Thomas Deans, 

James Chiesly, 

James Smith, 

Thomas Couts, 

Hugh Frazer, 

Joseph Cohen D'Azevedo, 

Walter Stewart, 

The original subscription list is preserved amongst a 
mass of papers in the Advocate's Library, Edinburgh, 
which were found some years ago, with the books and 
accounts of the Company, locked up in an old oak chest. 

The following names occur amongst those who signed 
the Company's deed: —Elizabeth Lady Southhouse, for 
William FuUerton, son of John FuUertoUj of Kinaven, her 
grandchild : for herself, and failing of her, her grandchildren, 
j6100; George Nisbett, convener for the Trades of Glasgow, 
£400; Eobert Stevenson, for the wrights of Glasgow, 
i/'lOO; William Cumming, visitor of the maltmen of Glas 



gow, iff200; John Bryce, deacon of the cordwainers of 
Glasgow, jflOO; Eoderick Pedison, in the name of the 
cordwainers of Aberdeen, £100;- James Pringle, of Tor- 
woodlie, curator to George Pringle, of Greenknow, his 
nephew, by his desire, and with the consent of the remaining 
curators, and in his name, £400. 

" It was Paterson's original and ostensible design," says 
Malcolm Lalng, a Scottish historian, one of whose ancestors 
was a subscriber to the Company, " to establish an East 
Indian trade with Scotland, to which foreign merchants, 
impatient of the exclusive companies in England and Hol- 
land, might subscribe. But a secret and magnificent plan 
was engrafted by Paterson on his original designs. During 
his voyages with the buccaneers, he had probably visited the 
Isthmus of Darien, of which a considerable part was unoccu- 
pied, or, as he conceived, unappropriated, by the Spaniards, 
and inhabited by tribes of independent Indians, hostUe to 
their name. On each side of the Isthmus he prepared to 
establish an emporium for the trade of the opposite con- 
tinents; that the manufactures of Europe and the slaves of 
Africa, when transported to the Gulf of Darien, and con- 
veyed by land across the ridge of mountains that intersect 
the Isthmus, might be exchanged for the produce of Spanish 
America, and for the rich merchandise of Asia, imported to 
the Gulf of St. Michael, or to the river Sambu, in the Bay 
of Panama.* The same trade- winds that wafted the European 
commodities across the Atlantic, would carry them across 
the Pacific Ocean to Asia; the ships from each continent 
would return loaded with the produce of the others, while 
the ships fi:om Europe would return with the produce of 
both the Indies. To unite the commerce of the two Indies, 
by a colony planted in the Isthmus of Darien, or, in his 
own language, to wrest the ' keys of the world' from Spain, 
was certainly the conception of no vulgar mind. It may be 
compared with the noblest and the most successful of 

* The Sambii is in the Bay of Garachine (see Map). 


Alexander's designs — to establisli a mart in Egypt, through 
which the commerce of India might flow for ages — and 
was worthy of Spain to execute. But the schemes of 
Paterson were addressed to one of the poorest nations in 
Europe, and recommended by advantages more immediate, 
and to the Scots more attractive. He represented the 
natural fertility of the soil as adapted to the most valuable 
productions of the tropical climates; and to the mines of 
gold, with which the Isthmus abounded, as sufficient to 
gratify their most insatiate desires. With a wiser policy, 
he proposed to render the colony a free port, where no dis- 
tinction of party, religion, or nation, should prevail. His 
schemes wore communicated to a select number; and as 
they were gradually suspected or suffered to transpire, the 
commercial ideas of the Scots were expanded, and they 
began to grasp at the riches of both the Indies." 

I now take up the story from an excellent precis given by 
poor Eliot Warburton, in his novel entitled " Darien." I 
have followed him carefully through all the authorities and 
writers upon that subject, and found him invariably (except 
in one instance) correct. 

" So far all went well — the subscription-lists were full 
and closed. Scotland had contributed ^6400,000, half of 
all the circulating capital in the country; England added 
£300,000; Hamburgh and Holland made up £200,000 
more. With this vast sum, considering the time, Paterson 
and his associates went to work with energy, drawing freely 
on their supposed capital for the equipment of the first 
expedition on a scale commensurate with its importance. 
Its proposed magnitude surprised even the London mer- 
chants. A panic suddenly seized the East India Company ; 
for the East Indies (to be traded with from the opposite 
side of the Isthmus) had been unhappily inserted in the 
Charter to Paterson's Company, as being within the limits 
of their power to trade. The East India Company remon- 
strated by petition to the king. The English Parliament 
then met; and the Darien scheme was too popular a subject 


not to be made a matter of eager debate. The feeling of 
the Parliament was hostile. It even impeached some of its 
members for joining in a scheme ' so injurious to English 
commerce.' The king saw fit to yield to the altered tone 
of public feeling : he actually made a sort of apology for 
the encouragement he had bestowed upon the scheme : he 
confessed 'that he had been ill-advised in Scotland'; and 
he at once revoked all his favourable dispositions towards 
the Company. The English subscriptions were withdrawn ; 
and, under a threat of England's displeasure, Hamburgh 
and Holland, after some squabbling (and deprecating any 
fear of England as their motive for doing so), likewise 

•j! o Sf! S|t Sf! S|C 

" The hope and faith of the Scottish people soared all 
the higher for the desertion of their allies. The prepara- 
tions for the expedition were pressed forward. Diminished 
by more than half as were their resources, the equipment 
lost nothing of its pretensions. The consequence was, that 
five ships sailed with a stinted and miserable provision, 
scarcely sufficient to have carried them in comfort on a 
cruising voyage among Christian lands ; much less across 
the wide Atlantic, through hostile regions, along savage 


" The members of the expedition were as ill fitted for 
their purpose as the ships themselves. The difficulty of 
collecting subscriptions was great, notwithstanding the 
enthusiasm of the subscribers. It was a period of severe 
scarcity moreover, and provisions were enormously dear: 
hence the temptation to adulterate them was greater than 
usual, and it was extensively done. Scotland was dis- 
honoured by the promoters of her first and last attempt to 
found a colony: "William III. did not do more to cause the 
ruin of the expedition, than these earnest yet dishonour- 
able men. 

" At length the expedition was pronounced ready to set 


sail. The rotten ships, gaily painted and bedecked with 
flaunting flags, were filled with rotten provisions most 
carefully made up, in order to conceal the imposture. 
Certain bales of goods and merchandise, also of a very 
inferior description, were placed in the ships, in order to 
traffic with the natives of the Land of Promise, as well as 
with the Christian inhabitants of the West India Islands, 
for provisions. With these goods invoices were sent, fixing 
an exorbitant value upon every article. 

" To crown all, these ill-fated ships were commanded by 
coarse, brutal, and ignorant captains, haters of and hostile 
to one another. The ' Council ' which accompanied them 
had no decisive authority. There was no chief, and every 
one aspired to command : the ingenuity of men could not 
have devised a plan more evidently anarchical. Paterson 
had been allowed no voice in any of the proposed arrange- 
ments; through jealousy, he had not even been named as 
one of the Council: he entered his ship as ignorant of her 
equipment as any seaman on board. He proposed, even 
then, to hold an inspection of the stores before the ships 
weighed anchor; but this was angrily forbidden, for reasons 
which are not difficult to divine." 

I find in some of the papers of the Scotch Colony, that 

he was pursued by bailifis when he was about to embark. 

" No less than three hundred, it is said, of the best blood 
in Scotland were among the emigrants (1,200 in all). With 
them went many of their servants and husbandmen, deter- 
mined, with clanman loyalty, to follow the fortunes of their 
young masters, for good or ill, whithersoever they might 
lead. These poor fellows also left behind them all their 
household ties; for the heart of Scotland, high and low, 
went with the Darien expedition." 


The papers published by the Bannatyne Club contain 
some remarkable particulars of this voyage, and narrate the 
vain eflfbrts-of Paterson to prevail upon the searcaptains to 


purchase provisions from a Captain Moore, whom they met 
on the voyage. 

The Akeival. — Isla Del Oko. — " Thus in high hopes 
and spirits the adventurers traversed the Atlantic with 
favouring bireezeSj and on the 30th of October they came 
n sight of the New World. A wide and vague extent of 
islands, and bold cliffs, and swampy shores, was there ; along 
these the mariners groped their way cautiously, until, on 
the 1st of November, they came in sight of the long-desired 
Golden Island. Gloriously beautiful it seemed to the longing 
eyes of the emigrants, with its rich foliage and graceful 
undulations of bright green sward ; and lofty trees bending 
over the calm crystalline sea, in which their abounding fruit 
and plumy foliage was reflected. The isle was only three 
miles in circumference, but it stood forth like a beautiful 
specimen of the vast regions that lay beyond. All that 
was visible seemed as fair; the same wild luxuriance of 
vegetation, the same promise of fertility, the same loveliness 
of feature, to which the distant mountains gave a deeper 
interest in Scottish eyes." 


Port Escosces. — " On the 27th of October," says the 
writer of " A Defence of the Scots' Colony, with a 
Description of Darien," published at Edinburgh in 1799, 
" our ships came to anchor in a fair sandy bay, three 

leagues west off the Gulf of Darien We have 

an excellent harbour, surrounded with high mountains, 
capable of holding one thousand sail, land-locked, and 
safe from all winds and tempests. The mouth of the 
harbour is about a random cannon-shot over, formed by 
a peninsula on the one side and a point of land on the 
other. In the middle of the entrance there is a rock three 
feet above water, upon which the sea beats most terribly 
when the wind blows hard; and within the points there is 
a small rock, that lies a little under water. On both sides 
of these rocks there is a very good wide channel for ships to 
come in; that on the south side is three cables long and 


seven fathoms deep, and that on the north side two cables 
long. From the two outermost points the harhour runs 
away east a mile and a half; and near the middle, on the 

right hand, a point of land shoots out into the bay 

The bay within is, for the most part, six fathom water, and 
till you come within a cable's length of the shore, three 
fathoms and a half, so that a quay might be built, to which 
great ships may lay their sides and unload. The peninsula 
lies on the left hand, is a mile and a half in length, very 
steep, and high towards the sea, so that it would be difficult 
for anybody to land tiU you come to the Isthmus, where 
there is a small sandy bay, that little ships may put into. 
There are several rivers of very good water that fall into 
the bay ; and it abounds so with excellent fish, that we can 
with ease take more than it is possible for us to destroy, 
having sometimes caught a hundred and forty at a draught. 
Amongst others there are tortoises, which are excellent 
meat, and some of them above six cwt." 

Future Pkospects. — Desceiption of Caledonian 
Hakbouk. — " Before him (Paterson), at the mouth of the 
harbour, lay the Golden Island ; within among the forests 
gleamed the Golden River (Rio Del Oro) ; high up in the 
mountains, his eye could trace where lay the Golden Mines 
of Cana. 

" But it was not gold he then sought, for nobler visions 
occupied his mind. No greater idea than his had been 
formed since the time of Columbus: the connection of the 
two great oceans ; the abolition of distance and danger ; the 
saving of time — so important to man, whose schemes are 
so far extended, and whose life is so short ! 

" On that lovely and neglected shore his imagination 
pictured the cities of a great colony, founded, as never 
colony before was founded, on principles of perfect freedom 
of religion and trade. ' This union of the two great oceans, 
this door of the seas and key of the imiverse,' as the pro- 
jector described it, ' was to form a nucleus for a new system 
of beneficent wealth and benignant power.' " 


The authenticity of this description is proved by various 
passages I have quoted in the notes to the body of this 

Poet Escosces. — " And now behold the little fleet 
of Scottish ships entering the fine harbpur Acta, slowly 
and cautiously. The entrance is not only narrow, but 
guarded by diagonal shelves of rocks, between which you 
can alone steer with safety. Thus vessels entering this 
harbour appear as if they were sailing for the opposite 
shore ; or as if, even with a leading wind, they were tacking 
to their destination. Once within the harbour's mouth, 
however, the basin is all that a seaman can desire : almost 
land-locked, and of capacity to hold five hundred ships, 
deep, sand at bottom, and the water so clear, that five 
fathom deep you can see the shells and coral fragments as 
through the purest glass. A wide bay, fringed with a 
yellow shore, which seemed to the eager eyes of the 
emigrants like golden sands, spread round. Mangroves 
dropped into the water in many places, and were laden with 
oysters as with fruit. Above this leafy shore, arose stately 
and graceful trees, opening at intervals in pleasant glades ; 
then hills succeeded, bounded by mountains, whence flowed 
many streams, flashing in cascades among the rocks, or 
gleaning in tranquil rivers along the plain." — Warburton. 

Caledonian Bay. — " About a cannon-shot to the 
southward, a peninsula, with a deep harbour at its ex- 
tremity, ran out into the sea. The outer arm of the 
harbour was level, and as well fitted for artificial defence as 
the opposite part was formidable by nature. But within 
these defences, and their protected harbour, lay a wide, 
calm, sheltered bay; capable of containing all the fleets of 
Europe. From its western shore, two fine rivers discharged 
themselves into the bay; and rich savannahs, and orange, 
and palm-tree groves, bordered the sea-board round." 

In the first letter sent from New Caledonia by the 

• Council of the Colony — which I find given at p. 10 of 

" An Enquiry into the Cause of the Miscarriage of the Scots' 


Colony at Darlen," Glasgow, 1700 — a pamphlet for wHcli 
King William issued a proclamation against its author, 
offering a reward for 'his arrest — the following passages 
occur : — 

" The wealth, fruitfulness, health, and good situation of 
the country proves far the better, much above our greatest 
expectation, which God Almighty seems to have wonder- 
fully reserved for this occasion, and even to have prepared 
our way, and wonderfully disposed the Indies to that 

"As to the country, we find it very healthful; (oi 
although we arrived here in the rainy season, from which 
we had little or no shelter for several weeks together, and 
many sick amongst us, yet tRey are so far recovered, and in 
so good a state of health, as could hardly anywhere be 
expected among such a number of meti together; nor 
know we anything of those several dangerous and mortal 
distempers so prevalent in the English and other Atnerican 

" In fruitfulness this country seems not to give place to any 
in the world, for we have seen several of the fruits, as 
cocoa nuts, whereof chocolate is made, bonellos, sugar-cane, 
maize, oranges, plantains, mango, yams, and several others, 
all of them the best of their kind anywhere found. 

" Nay, there is hardly a spot of ground here but what 
may be cultivated ; for even upon the very tops and sides 
of the hills and mountains, there is commonly three or four 
foot deep of rich earth, without so much as a stone to be 
foimd therein. Here is good hunting and fowling, and 
excellent fishing in the bays and creeks of the coast, so 
that, could we improve the year, just now begun, we should 
be able to subsist of ourselves. 

"Signed, Egbert Jolley. 

j. montgomerey. 
Dan. Mackay. 
RobT. Pennicook. 


Wm. Patebson. 



"We intreat you to send us a good engineer, who is 
extremely wanted here, this place being capable of being 
strongly fortified. You -will understand by ours from 
Maderas, the dangers as well as the tediousness of our passage 
north-about, so that, if the ships can conveniently be fitted 
out from Clyde, it wiU save a great deal of time in their 
passage^ and be far less hazardous." 

In the meanwhile, no time had been lost by the Dutch 
and English East India Companies, in bringing every 
engine to bear upon the King for the ruin of the colony. 
A Captain Long, whose dispatch was found in the papers of 
the Company, was cruising on the coast, and endeavoured 
to set the Indians upon them, but failed. He, however, 
proceeded to the West Indies, and did his best to cut off" all 
supplies, as well as to seduce some of their best men — 
carpenters and others. The Spanish Ambassador addressed 
a protest to the King of England, which we find fiiUy 
repeated in a pamphlet distributed by him at the time, 
entitled, " Information concernant I'AfiTaire de Darien." 
In this, after reciting the bull of the Pope, by which 
America was given to Ferdinand and Isabella, he goes on 
as follows: — 

XL As regards the province of Darien, in particular, it 
is notorious that it was discovered at the same time (1500); 
and, as a proof of this, when the above-mentioned King 
Ferdinand, having sent Alonzo Ojeda and Diego de 
Nicuesa, as governors of the country, they quarrelled about 
Darien, and each pretended that it was in his portion of 
terra firma. Now, the province given to Ojeda, was from 
Cape de la Vela to the half of the Gulf of Uraba, under the 
name of New Andalusia, and that of Diego de Nicuesa, 
from the other half of the same Gulf, up to Cape 
Gracias a Dios, so that Darien was equally divided between 
the two— one half being in one, and the other half in the 
other, Government. But at last they were brought, by 
Juan de la Cosa, the pilot, to agree that the Rio Grande 


del Darien* sKould serve as their boundary, and tliat one 
should take its eastern bank, and the other the western. 

XII. Upon the settlement of this division, Alonzo Ojeda 
landed at Carthagena, and laid, in 1510, the foundation of 
the town of St. Sebastian, at the end of the Gulf of Uraba: 
and Nicuesa went to Veragua, where Christopher Columbus 
had already founded a town. This same Nicuesa peopled 
and built, afterwards, that of Nombre de Dios. 

X. As for Ojeda, he was killed the same year, in a 
combat against the Indians, and the Bachelor Enciso, who 
came with Vasco Nunez, as governor, in his place, built in 
the same year (1510) in the Province of Darien, the town of 
Santa Maria el Antigua del Darien, in accordance with a 
vow which he had made to the Spaniards in a battle. 

XIV. This town became thenceforth the capital of New 
Andalusia, and the residence of its governors, the first of 
whom, after the Bachelor Enciso, was Vasco Nunez, the 
same who sent to Europe three hundred " marcs" of gold 
found in this place, and under whom the kingdom of Terra 
Firma commenced to be called Golden Castile. He it was 
also, in 1513, who discovered the South Sea. 

Predarias d'Avila, surnamed El Justador, succeeded him 
in the month of July, 1514, and, at the same time, the 
king sent Juan de Quevedo as bishop to Darien, Pope 
Leo X. having given the necessary rules to that effect; so 
that Santa Maria el Antigua del Darien was not only the 
fourth Christian town built on the continent of the West 
Indies, but the first, also, which was made an episcopal city. 

XV. In the same year. King Ferdinand issued special 
regulations for the government of this province, and gave 
it greater privileges, especially to the town of Santa Maria 
el Antigua, to which, in 1515, he accorded the right of 
bearing as its arms — " Gules, a golden castle, surmounted 
by a sun of the same, supported on the right by a tiger, 
and on the left by a crocodile, with these words as a legend, 
' La Imagen de Nuestra Signora del Antigua.' '' 

* Atrato. 
2 M 


X"VI. In 1516, Ada was built, in the same province, five 
leagues from the shore (riveau*) of the North Sea. After 
mentioning the removal of the capital from Santa Maria el 
Antigua to Panama, on account of the insalubrity of the 
spotj the writer goes on to argue against the assumption of 
the ScotSj that Darien had either been abandoned or never 
possessed, and singularly observes — " No one has a right to 
argue that a country has passed out of the hands of its 
original and legitimate possessors, because they have neg- 
lected it. That the western part of Ireland — from Sligo 
to Limerick — can scarcely be called inhabited, is a thing 
that all the world knows; but, nevertheless, does it not 
belong to the crown of England ? And with what colourable 
pretence could any one take possession of it?" 

The writer then refers to the actual possession by the 
Spaniards, of the towns of " Santa Maria de las Minas" 
(Cana), Scuchaderos,t and " if Darien is to be regarded as 
of Ihe extent now given it," the towns of Cheapo, Con- 
cepcion,J the castle of St. Jago, and many others. Eeference 
is also made to the coimtry being mapped out exactly, 
especially in Oexmelin's and Dampier's works; and it is 
asserted that there are not more than a thousand Indians in 
the whole Isthmus who do not speak Spanish, 

XXIII. Nor is it to be doubted that the King of England 
will use his power to punish these Scotch encroachers 
severely, after the fashion in which his royal predecessors, 

* This is doubtful, as most accounts agree that Ada was on 
the sea coast; the year 1516 was the date of its being fortified, 
but it was founded two years before, by Gabriel de Rojas. 

t This place was situated on the north bank of the Tuyra, 
just above the east point of the Savana mouth. It has been 
abandoned long ago. 

I This passage in the Spanish Ambassador's protest proves 
the distinction that the old Spaniards made between Darien and 
Panama ; and also that the boundary line between them was 
from Concepcion in San Bias Bay to Chepo, as he does not refer 
to the possession by the Spaniards of Panama, PortobeUo, or any 
place westward of Chepo and Concepcion, but strictly confines 
himself to, Darien. 


kings and queens, and, in particular, James I., whose signal 
justice I shall give here in a few words. 

XXIV. " A certain English knight, named Walter 
Ealeigh, obtained from this prince, in 1617, a commission 
to occupy himself (negocier) in these parts of the New 
World, which had not yet been discovered. He abused 
these powers by making incursions into Guyana, along 
the river Orinoco, and into Golden Castile. His son was 
killed here ; and those he thought to surprise defended them- 
selves so valiantly, that he was obliged to retreat to his 
ships. But he did not get oiF quite in this way ; for on his 
return to England, Count Gondomar, the ambassador from 
Spaiuj complained to the king, Raleigh was arrested, sent 
to the Tower, and condemned by the Court of King's 
Bench to be beheaded." 

XXV. Forty years afterwards two Captains, named 
Oxenham and Drake, entered upon a similar design; but 
the first was taken by Orega, a Spanish captain, and con- 
ducted to Lima, where he received the punishment he 
deserved; and as for Drake, though it turned out different 
with him, for he came back freighted with a rich booty, 
yet it availed him not a whit the more, for Queen Elizabeth, 
who then reigned in England, made him restore it in the 
bulk (!) to Mendoza, the Spanish Embassador, and ex- 
pressly prohibited Drake from all such enterprises for the 
future ( !) 

XXVI. " It is quite clear then, that his Britannic Majesty 
will follow these excellent examples, and give full satis- 
faction and reparation for any damage committed." This 
memorial was not without its effects, for King William III., 
to his eternal disgrace, directed that all supplies, or assistance, 
or correspondence between the Scotch colonists and the 
West Indies and the British possessions in America, should 
be stopped, and thus prepared to starve out the colony. 

Had it not been for England's fatal jealousy, says Mr. 
Warburton, and her King's unworthy prejudice, there is 
little doubt that a city would there have been founded, to 


which all the commercial capital of the world must finally 
have yielded precedence. 

Climate. — "It was in the very spring time of that 
climate ; a genial sunshine poured its glory on the stately 
forests, the green valleys, and the crystal waters that sur- 
rounded them- " Sweet balmy odours floated on the breeze; 
the woods resounded with the melody of brilliant birds." 
(Here Mr. Warburton is mistaken, the colonists arrived in 
the rainy season, as is shewn by " Mr. Rose's Journal," and 
the subsequent letter of Adam Cleghorn, of Boston. 

Weathee. — " The rains begin in May, and last four or 
five months, but are very gentle at first, like April showers; 
but after are more violent, inasmuch that sometimes they 
make a kind of deluge, covering the ground in some places 
seven or eight foot all on asuddain, and carrying down trees 
with great impetuosity ; but those that are acquainted with 
the country know how to avoid the danger. But these 
rains, even in the wettest months, are not so continued, 
but there are many fair days, and sometimes a week toge- 
ther, with small thunder showers, and refreshing breezes of 
air. The pleasant dry months are December, Janiiary, 
February, March, and April. The sky is then very serene, 
and not so much as a cloud to be seen, and methinks, con- 
sidering the warm situation of the climate, it is extremely 
pleasant, everything having a fresh verdure and odour; the 
air gently fanning the inhabitants, so that the heat is so far 
from being troublesome that it is delectable." — History of 
Caledonia, by a gentleman lately arrived, London, 1699. 

Hunting and Fishing. — "By universal consent the 
emigrants made holiday afi;er landing. They hunted the 
wild boar; they fished in the abounding streams and swarm, 
ing seas; they explored the woods, where almost every 
bough was bending with fruit, and in the soft calm evenings 
they would climb to the summit of a lofty hill, that 
reached far out upon the sea with all its wooded islands; 
there they would gaze long and earnestly towards their 
distant home, and with mute lips, but sympathising eyes, 


communicate each to the other pleasant yet mournful 
thoughts of Scotland. 

w S|£ SfC S{! 

"The magnificent forests of the Isthmuswere full of charms, 
inexhaustible in their variety of scenery and of game. The 
iguana and the young monkeys, up to the wild boar and 
the jaguar, there was a wide range for the sportsman. 
Among birds, the partridge, the scarlet curry, the sweet- 
voiced corroson, or wild turkey, the' beautiful chicaly of the 
woodpecker tribe ; . parrots and macaws of every colour ; 
swan-white pelicans, and blue doves, made a brilliant 

"The waters, too, abounded in fish, from the mullet up to 
the gigantic manatee, or sea-cow, which struggled under 
the harpoon like a whale of the fresh water. Then, in the 
bay, the Indians used to glide along in their canoes as softly 
as a wave, and transfix the sleeping turtle with their spears. 
They would also leister the paracoods, as they feed on a 
crispy sea-weed that grows like a fungus at the root of the 
mangrove tree. Sometimes they would shoot with poisoned 
arrows from the blowpipe, the large cavally and the gar-fish,;]; 
as they rose out of the water at the manchineel apples that 
overhung the sea, waiting for each wave to lift them 
towards the fruit-laden bough, and then springing from its 

In " The History of Caledonia, or the New Scots' Colony 
of Darien," Edinburgh, 1699, I find an enumeration of the 
birds seen in the woods by the settlers (p. 67). 

" Their birds are the chicaly-chicaly, which makes a 
noise somewhat like a cuckoo, is a large bird, has feathers 

* The paracood is an excellent fish at some seasons of the year ; 
at others it is poisonous, and its only antidote is said to be its 
backbone burned, pulverised, and drank in rmslam, a liquor made 
of the plantain. 

t The gar-fish has a long sharp bony snout; it swims so fast 
and recklessly that ic sometimes transpierces the natives' canoes 
with its proboscis. 


of divers colours, very beautiful and lively, whereof the 
natives sometimes make aprons. This bird keeps mostly on 
the trees, feeds on fruit, and is pretty good meat. The 
quara feeds in the same manner, his wings are thin, his tail 
dark and short, and upright. He is much preferable to the 
other for meat. There is a russet-coloured bird, resembling 
a partridge, runs fast on the ground, and is excellent meat. 
The corroson is a large fowl as big as a turkey, and of a 
black colour. The cock has a fine crown of yellow feathers 
on his head, and gills like a turkey. They live on trees and 
eat fruit. They sing very delightfully, and are so well 
imitated by the Indians that they discover their haunts by 
it. They are very good meat; but their bones make the 
dogs run mad, and are therefore hid from them by the 
Indians. They have abundance of parrots, for size and 
shape much like those of Jamaica ; they are very good meat. 
Their parrakites are most of them green, and go in large 
flights by themselves. They have macaw birds, which are 
as big again as parrots, and resemble them in shape ; they 
have a bill like a hawk, and a bristly tail, with two or three 
long straggling feathers, either red or blue; but those of 
the body are of a lively blue, green, and red. The Indians 
tame these birds and then let them go into the woods 
amongst the wild ones; they will return of their own accord 
to the houses. They exactly imitate the voices and singing 
of the Indians, and call the chicaly in its own note. It is 
one of the pleasantest birds in the world, and its flesh sweet 
and well tasted. They have also woodpeckers, which are 
pied like our magpies, and have claws that they climb up 
trees with ; they are not pleasant to eat. They have plenty 
of dunghill fowls, resembling those of Europe, and their 
flesh and eggs as well tasted as ours. They have flying 
insects too, and among others bees, which form their hives 
on trees, and it is observed that they never sting anybody. 
The natives mix the honey with water and so drink it; but 
know not the use of the wax. They have shining flies, 
which in the night time resemble glow-worms." 


The Town Built. — "At length the holiday, as if by 
general consent, was ended, and the emigrants set themselves 
resolutely to work. The peninsula was first fortified, and 
sixty guns, brought from the ships, were mounted on the 
battlements. They then, with manful labour, cut a canal 
across the little isthmus, and rendered their peninsula an 
island. The heart and thought of home were in, all they 
did. The new fort was called St. Andrews, and the sur- 
rounding region that it was to defend, received the name of 
Caledonia. Huts were hastily built of precious woods, that 
were there mere lumber; woods, that by European skill, 
produce- rich dyes and drugs, and shine polished as the 
chief ornaments of palaces." — JVarburton. 

Neglect op future Pkovision. — "While thus 
employed, the settlers were, of course, unable to attend to 
the cultivation of the land. But this, gave them little 
concern, for the ships were supposed to contain provisions 
for many months to come ; supplies were expected soon to 
follow them from Edinburgh, and, at all events, the West 
Indies abounded in all that man could desire for food." — 

Visit to the Indians. — "Paterson," having previously 
despatched deputies to the nearest Spanish settlements to 
ask for welcome, " undertook a journey into the interior, in 
order to make treaties with the natives, and to obtain from 
them a righteous title to the land. He set out to seek the 
savage king of Darien, who lived among the hills, ten days 
journey from St. Andrews." On this journey went the 
writer of " A Letter describing Darien," London, 1699, 
which, indeed, appears to have been contributed by 
" Mr. Eose," in whose journal in the old oak chest, the 
greater portion of the passages I quote — as well as those 
which Mr. Warburton makes use of — appear. 

" I shall further give you an account of our going up the 
country to their king, or chief captain, we marching from 
our fort with Captain Andreas, and other of their princes. 
We began our march toward their head place, where the 


kino- resided, first through a small skirt of wood,- and then 
over a bay almost three miles, or a league in length, and 
after that we went about six or seven miles up a woody valley, 
and we saw here and there some old plantations, and had a 
very good path to march in. Then we came to the side- of 
a river, which in most places was dry, and built us houses, 
or rather huts, to lodge in. 

" The Indians forbad us to lie upon the grass, for fear of 
venomous adders, which are very frequent in these places. 

^^ Breaking some of the stones that lay in the liver, we found 
them shine with sparks of gold ; these stones were driven down 
from the neighbouring mountains in time of floods. 

The next day of our march we mounted a very steep hill, 
and on the other side, at the foot thereof, we rested on the 
bank of a river, which Captain Andreas told us, ran into the 
South Sea, being the same river on which the town of Santa 
Maria was situated. Hence we continued our march till 
about noon, and then ascended another mountain, far higher 
than the former; here we were often, and in many places, 
in great danger, the mountains being so nigh to a per- 
pendicular, and the path so narrow, that but one man at a 
time could pass. We arrived in the evening on the other side 
of the mountain, and lodged again by the side of the same 

"Next morning, we marched all along the river before- 
mentioned, crossing it often, almost at every half mile, 
sometimes up to the knee, and other times, up to the middle, 
in a very rapid current. About noon we came to a place 
where we found some Indian houses. 

" They found," says the writer of "the Defence," "the 
country through which they passed of an exceedingly rich 
soil, but much covered with wood ; only here and there they 
met with some places which the Indians called in their 
language ' savannahs,' where they plant their ' mari,' a kind 
of corn, something like wheat, upon little hillocks, at a 
little distance one from another. These savannahs are not 
level, but consist of small hills and valleys, with pleasant 


spots of wood intermixed, which serve both for pleasure 
and profit, of which more hereafter. 

"The Indians were so secure, -that they saw several of 
them sleeping in hammocks tied to the trees, and had no 
other covering or canopy but large plantain leaves ; for they 
were told by their priests, or rather magicians (who went a 
conjuring, which they called ' panawing,' as soon as our 
fleet arrived), that the people newly arrived would be a 
great assistance to them against the Spaniards, and would 
never molest them in any matter of religion, but live in 
good correspondence with them, if they failed not on their 

Desckiption of Intekioe from Caledonia Bat, 
AND Habits of the Indians. — " At first," says Mr. 
Warburton, "Paterson found the country devoid of inhabit- 
ants, though it was pleasantly diversified with green savan- 
nahs" (level plains) "and cool forests, beneath whose shade he 

travelled for many miles As the ambassadors 

proceeded, they found the country cultivated in the simple 
manner of the Indians. Maize, bananas, cocoa-nuts, and 
pine-apples were found in profusion. The dwellings of the 
native people were very slight, and only roofed with pal- 
meta leaves; but they appeared to want for nothing that 
conduces to the simple luxuries of savage life. Among 
their magnificent cedar forests they passed a joyous and com- 
paratively innocent existence, with merely enough of labour 
to fulfil man's destiny of exertion. When the hour of rest 
from their light labours came, they lay down in houses made 
of cocoa fibre, and suspended from two boughs ; and in these 
they rocked themselves, children of nature as they were, 
into calm and careless slumber. Paterson, who had made 
himself acquainted with their language, was everywhere 
received with kindness and attention. ' After a splendid 
reception,' in a lofty isolated grove, ' from whose covert 
groups of beautiful women bounded forth, glittering with 
ornaments, and their heads wreathed with garlands of 
flowers,' by the king, ' a swarthy potentate, seated on a 


cliaracteristic throne of mahogany logs, which were covered 
partially with Spanish crimson cloth,' and who ' wore a 
diadem of gold, ten inches high, besides a light cotton robe,' 
and ear-rings, and more ornaments, a treaty was forthwith 
made and ratified. Full freedom was given to the Scots to 
settle in the land, and enjoy it. Between them and the 
native Dariens there was declared to be ' Peace, as long as 
rivers ran, and gold was found in Dariert.' " 

Food of the Indians. — " Then a banqnet was held 
in honour of the strangers. The flesh of the peccary (or 
wild pig), the fish from the mountain streams, and the fruit 
from the trees that over-arched them, found favour with the 
Scots; but when a huge lizard, called iguana in that country, 
was served up with tomata sauce, the ambassadors found 
their appetites not diplomatic enough to enjoy it. The 
reptile, however, was soon consumed by the royal family, 
and a dessert of figs, peaches, and bastard cinnamon soon 
replaced it. Three calabashes, filled with fruity drinks, 
cooled in the neighbouring springs, were handed round 
Minstrels all the while, seated on boughs overhead, sang the 
glories of the savage king, and women danced on the 
moonlit sward around the favoured guests. 

" Other native chiefs pledged themselves to the alliance and 
support of the colony; and if the colonists had not been, 
for the most part, composed of the most unworthy and re- 
bellious spirits, their savage allies would, doubtless, have 
remained faithful to the last. As it was, though wronged 
and disgusted, they were more constant in their friendship 
and services than most European nations would have been."* 

Of the all-important subject, gold — for here they had 
got very nearly upon El Dorado, that Raleigh missed — we 
begin to catch a glimpse, as one of the parties to this ex- 
pedition tells us in the letter describing Darien : — 

" Captain Diego commands from the bottom of the Gulf 
of Uraba on this side to Caret Bay, and has about three 

* Darien, by Eliot Warburton, vol. iii. 


thousand men under his command. He is esteemed the 
most powerful amongst them, and has been at war with the 
Spaniards about a twelvemonth. The occasion was this — 
the Indians having found three gold mines within his juris- 
diction, being two sma,ll ones and a very great vein, consulted- 
with themselves what to do; and being sensible that they 
did not understand how to work them, concluded to dis- 
cover them to the Spaniards, provided they would allow 
them such a share of the profit. This was agreed to and 
faithfully promised; but no sooner had the Indians shewed 
the mines, than they shut up two of them, put strong guards 
upon ih&va.,. and fell to work upon the third, of which the 
Indians demanding their share, they beat and abused them, 
and threatened to exterminate them, which provoked them 
so, that a little time after they seized twenty Spaniards and 
three priests, and cut them all to pieces. 

" Captain Ambrosio (an Indian), who has the adjoining 
command, forced them to enter into the common con- 
federacy, and cut off ten Spaniards^ who lived on the main 
of the Golden Island. I distinguish it thus, by reason the 
natives call all the main opposite to our island by the same 
name that it bears. About a league from the wrter-side there 
is a high mountain, wherein they assure MS are several mines of 
excellent gold. The Spaniards are very sensible of this, and 
from time to time have taken great care, by fair or foul 
means, never to let them be opened, well knowing that 
(being so near the North Sea) they should have the least 
share of them to themselves. 

" Captain Pombigo, of Caret Bay, told us of several gold 
mines within ten miles of us, and shewed us a sample of the 
gold, which was extraordinary fine." 

Dissensions in the Colony. — " When Paterson re- 
turned to St. Andrew's, after only six days' absence, he 
found an alarming change in the colony. A spirit of dis- 
content and mutiny had broken out. The men who worked 
hard at the new city were dissatisfied that others should 
remain idle and unpunished. There was, as yet, no law in 


the colony. Many of the colonists were men who had 
escaped from the consequence of crime in their own country, 
and all their evil passions now broke out, ripened by the 
warm climate, by long idleness, and by the absence of all 
settled, acknowledged government. Then it was found 
necessary to make laws, but none would submit to a supreme 

" The Presbyterian ministers preached three times a day 
to no avail." — Warburtons Darien, vol. iii. 

I find an account of this in a letter in the collection in 
the Advocate's Library, from Adam Cleghorn to Baillie 
Blackwood, August 14th, New York, 1699. Sent per 

" I am informed also that there was some divisions 
among y° first-elected CouncellorSj some of them being too 
bote headed, and oy" of y™ no wayes train'd up to soe 
great affaires, their agreement on this head was not soe 
greatt ap was requisite. Many young men of them being 
swelled w' the expectationes of their future and present 
preferments, forgett all oy' things but some punctilios of 
honour, which was alltogether extrinsick to the great trust 
committed to them. And Mr. William Paterson, who has 
this generall applause, that he was commandin this affaire 
to the outermost degree of diligence, was very uneasy w* 
these young gentlemen's misbehaviours. The tragicaU 
period of our Scotts' African affaires, ' which can never be 
replaced,' exclaims the worthy merchant, ' excepting only 
the Rising Sun be arrived at Darien, and keept possession of 
the place until further reinforcements be made.' " 

Famine. — " Provisions began to fall short, and, to their 
grievous disappointment, the emigrants soon found that 
more than half the meat and biscuits were so bad that they 
were obliged to be cast into the sea. Famine now threatened 
the infant colony. Disappointment began to tell upon 
them. They had been four months in the promised land, 

and as yet had seen no gold They had expected, 

like the conquering Spaniards, at once to seize upon the 


country's wealth. Paterson's humane conciliation of the 
natives .was objected to — "murmur and mntiny began to 

break out" Want began to be severely felt. The 

labourers were unable to work on their short allowance of 
food — starvation stared the colony in the face. They had 
exhausted all the neighbourhood of game, and it might be 
long before their ship returned from Jamaica." 

The Indians come to theik Assistance. — "Then 
it was that the humane policy of Paterson was rewarded. 
The King of Darien sent a large body of Indian hunters 

to the assistance of the white men Their knowledge 

of the country, and experience, enabled them to procure 
game and fish where the Scotchmen had ceased to find it. 
The friendly natives encamped in the neighbourhood of 
their proteges, and were indefatigable in their service." 

Anakcht. — " To such an extent did anarchy prevail, 
that the very mutineers at length proposed to elect a 
president; but their jealousy limited his rule to one week's 
duration. It followed, that all those pretending to any 
influence, hated their fellows ; each president occupied his 
week in undoing the work of his predecessor. Hence, the 
work of defence advanced but slowly; cultivation of the 
soil was neglected; the scanty supplies were unjustly doled 
out; some of the sturdiest labourers were half starved, 
because unpopular w^ith the sea-captains. To crown all, 
THE Preachers' Fanaticism, who considered themselves 
the chiefs of a theocracy, inflamed the minds of those who 
listened, with uncharitableness, and denounced, in awful 
language, all those who turned a deaf ear to them. 

" These infatuated men insisted on the whole colony at- 
tending their service for six hours on every Sunday, hemmed 
up in a dark and narrow building, called a chapel, the best 
of which sent many to their graves, and filled the hospital. 
Even on week days, they required all those who called 
themselves Christians, to listen to their * out-pourings' for 
three mortal hours — mortal often in more senses than one. 

" Thus ambition, ignorance, and selfishness, with their 


concomitants, mutiny and discontent, contrived to destroy 
the infant colony. Amongst all those combustible ingre- 
dients, was finally flung the torch of fanaticism ; and thus 
the destruction, which neither English King nor Parliament 
could have eifected, was rendered inevitable." 

Disease and Death. — " Every day the little band of 
adventurers was reduced: the men who were still able to 
work, strove faintly to complete the fortifications, and to 
tiU the ground for crops, which they were destined not to 
reap. Many of these pale and worn, but still resolute 
labourers, passed rapidly from the trenches to the crowded 
hospital, and thence, still more hurriedly, to their graves. 
Already, the burial ground was better tenanted than the 

Bad TiDiNas. — "At length, the long expected ship 
returned from Jamaica; she brought the astounding intelli- 
gence of King's William's edict against the Scottish colony, 
already struggling with every ill that affects brave men. 
That monarch, having first approved of and encouraged the 
expedition, had the unparalleled cruelty to condemn it to 
destruction. On the remonstrance of the meanly jealous 
English Parliament, the King sent an order (dated on 
Sunday, which still more shocked its victims) to all the 
English colonies in America and the West Indian Islands, 
forbidding them, on any pretence whatever, to supply either 
provisions or other stores to the Scottish colony at Darien. 
Yet he knew there was elsewhere no sustenance to be 
obtained by them on their side the Atlantic. These orders 
were acted upon to the very letter; and the necessaries of 
life that were freely granted to the buccaneers, the enemies 
of mankind, was withheld from the gallant and loyal Scots 
now perishing at Darien. The news of this edict filled the 
doomed colonists with despair." — Warbvrton's Darien, vol.lii. 


This edict was as follows : — 
" By the Honourable Sir William Beeston, Kt., His Majesty's 
Lieutenant-Governor and Commandant-in-Chief in and over 
this his Island of Jamaica, and over the territories depending 
thereon in America, and Vice-Admiral of the same. 

" A Proclamation, 
" Whereas I have received commands from His Majesty, 
by the Right Honourable James Surman, Esq., one of His 
Majesty's principal Secretaries of State, signifying to me 
that His Majesty is unacquainted with the intentions and 
designs of the Scots' settling at Darien; and that it is con- 
trary to the peace entered into with His Majesty's allies, and 
therefore has commanded me that no assistance be given 
them. These are therefore, in His Majesty's name and by 
commandj strictly to command His Majesty's subjects, what- 
soever, they do not presume, on any pretence whatsoever, 
to hold any correspondence with the said Scots, nor to give 
them any assistance of arms, ammunition, provisions, or any 
other necessaries whatsoever, either by themselves or any 
other for them ; or by any of their vessels, or of the English 
nation, as they will answer the contempt of His Majesty's 
command to the contrary at their peril. Given under my 
hand and seal of arms this 8th day of April, 1699, and in 
the eleventh year of our Sovereign Lord William the 
Third of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland, King, 
and of Jamaica, Lord Defender of the Faith, etc. 

" William Beeston." 

A similar proclamation was issued by E. Grey, Governor 
of Barbadoes, and the like by Lord Bellorant, Governor 
of New York. 

The above is from " A full and exact collection of all the 
considerable addresses, memorials, petitions, answers, pro- 
clamations, letters, and other public matters relating to the 
company of Scotland trading to Africa and the Indies 
from J695 to 1699. Printed in 1700." 



Disease. — "Amid sucli scenes even tlie stout Scottish 

hearts began to fail Misery is the sharpest ally 

of pestilence. When the soul sinks, the poor clay that 
encloses it will soon also yield. The fort of St. Andrew's 
became one great infirmary." . 

New Hopes. — " Paterson, alone, sustained by unquench- 
able hope, preserved a calm and serene dignity among these 
sorrows. He knew that a ship with stores and provisions 
should soon arrive from Scotland; he knew that the climate 
would be changed by cultivation ; that hardships would be 
obviated by better shelter." 

New DiSArpoiNTMENT. — " The expected vessel did not 
arrive; she had foundered on her way; two of the Darien 
vessels had already been despatched to England. There 
were not healthy men enough to man the rest. 

" The bury ing-ground was the only part of the settlement 
that thrived. Even when the fiae season set in — and a 
finer season is not seen on earth — the heavens seemed only 
to smile in mockery of aU hope. The ghastly remnant of 
the Scottish settlers were unable to work, and passed the 
day in dreary languor; and only roused themselves to exer- 
tion when their miserable pittance of bad food was doled 
out amongst them." 

* * * * 

The Departure. — "At length they resolved to depart 
from the fatal soil ........ The remnant of the stores, 

and the pitiable relics of provisions cleared out, with such 
fresh fruits as the early season yielded, were put on board. 
The helpless emigrants had not wherewithal to take them 
to Europe ; the West Indian Isles were closed against them 
either by the Spaniards or by William's barbarous decree. 
They fixed their destination for New York. Paterson was 
the last to leave the shore." 

* * * * 

The Voyage Home. — " Even the wind, with all other 
aid, seemed to fail them, for they lay in a waveless calm for 
days close to the fatal shores of Darien. The fatality pur- 


sued them still, and many a wan and wasted form lay 
gasping in the sultry air, which poisoned the lungs that 
drank it in. ..... . The ships, with one exception, 

reached Charlestown^ in North America; thence, after long 
delay, about thirty of the emigrants returned to Scotland, 
the sole remnant of 1,200 lusty adventurers, who, burning 
with high hope, had left their country twelve months before. 
The fatal truth concerning Darien soon spread throughout 
Scotland; the nation reeled under the blow; every family 
suffered in the great calamity. Their scanty wealth had 
perished, as well as those for whom it had been first hoarded, 
then expended."— fFarfiwr^OB's Darien, vol. iii. 

The news reached Scotland in the following letters to the 
Company ; they are in the chest of the Dari6n Papers in the 
Advocate's Library: — 

" The reason of their comeing away. Captain Drummond 
advises, was want of proVisions and Hquors, being forced to 
eat yams, etc., which broght sickness amongst y", that had 
not healthfull people to watch and ward, and dyeing 10 or 
12 in a day, not through any unhealthfulnesse of the 
climate, but meerly want of wholsome dyet and liquors ; 
the climate is acknowledged to be healthfull by y° generality 
of all y" persons come from thence as doe understand. You 
now see the effects of the prohibitions published in all y° 
plantations, it may be reckoned the intended effects. Mr. 
Paterson, at New York, is in a worse condition as to health; 
had a line from him last post." — Letter of Mr. Balard to 
Mr. Machay, Boston, 1th September, 1699. It adds " that Mr. 
Paterson has lost his senses, and does not meddle with any- 
thing." Again, " Meantime the grief has broken Mr. 
Paterson^s heart and brains, and now hee's a child; they 
may doe what they will for him." 

In a letter from Adam Cleghorn to Balllie Blackwood, 
dated August 14th, New York, 1699, sent per Newfound- 
land (Bannatyne Papers, 147), the writer, in giving an ac- 
count of the miserable condition of the colonists who 
returned on board the Caledonian, says — " The cause of 

N 2 


their leaving Darlen was, as they say, for want of provi- 
tions and fresh supplies from Scotland. Besides," they add, 
that " they never had see much as one letter or scratch of a 
penn from the Company all the tyme they were a standing 
colony. Thus, despairing of supplies, and a great sickness 
and mortality befalling their men, they thought fit ray' 
to commit ymselves to the mercy of the seas with their re- 
maining provitions, than to dye upon the spott without hope. 
This sickness was no wayes occationed by the unhealthiness 
of the climate, which all of y^ say was very wholesome, only 
mere want starved y"* out of the place" 

Once Moke. — " Paterson had scarcely landed in Scot- 
land when he hastened to the Council, to account for the 
defeat of the expedition, and to counsel them to new enter- 
prises.' Once more his sanguine spirit communicated itself 
to the Company. They prepared a new expedition, and 
made a new appeal to the justice df King William." 

New Proposals. — " Paterson now proposed that the 
Company should assume an English character, two-thirds of 
its members to belong to that nation, and one-third only to 
Scotland. He wrote an eloquent letter in praise of the spot 
that had been so fatal to his happiness, and laid down plans 
for the conduct of the future colony in the most lucid and 
statesman-like language. He based all his hopes on that 
freedom of trade and freedom of commerce, which was only 
destined to obtain a consummation in later times." — War- 
burton's Darien. 

A portion of these "proposals" ran as follows: — 

"Darien lies between the golden regions of Jlexico and 
Peru; it is within six weeks' sail of Europe, India, and 
China; it is in the heart of the West Indies, close to the 
rising colonies of North America. The expense and danger 
of navigation to Japan, the Spice Islands, and all the 
Eastern world, will be lessened one-half; the consumption 
of European commodities and manufactures will soon be 
doubled. Trade will increase trade; money will beget 


money; and the trading world will need no more to want 
work for its hands, but hands for its work. 

"Darien possesses great tracts of country as yet unclaimed 
by any Europeans. The Indians, original proprietors of the 
soil, will welcome to their fertile shores the honest honourable 
settler. Their soil is rich to a fault, producing spontaneously 
the most delicious fruits, and requiring the hand of labour 
to chasten rather than to stimulate its capabilities. Their 
crystal rivers sparkle over sands of gold ; there the traveller 
may wander for days under a natural canopy formed by 
the fruit-laden branches of treeSj whose wood is of inestimable 
value. The very waters abound in wealth; innumerable 
shoals of fish disport themselves among coral rocks, and the 
bottom of the sea is strewn with pearls. From the first 
dawn of creation this enchanted land had lain secluded from 
mortal eyes; to the present generation, to Scottish enter- 
prise it was now revealed ; let us enter and take possession 
of the promised land. There anew city, a new Edinburgh, 
shall arise; the Alexandria of old, which was seated in a 
barren Isthmus, and grew suddenly into prodigious wealth and 
power, by the mere commerce of Arabia and Ind, shall 
soon yield in fame to the new emporium of the wokld." 

The Proposals Eejected. — "Lord Basil Hamilton 
was requested to lay this new proposal and petition before 
the king. That high-hearted and young nobleman accepted 
the unpopular mission, though he had always held aloof 
from the court since the revolution. He repaired at once to 
London; an audience was refused him, but his zeal was not 
to be extinguished by the cold ceremony that surrounds a 
throne. He had the wrongs of his country committed to 
his charge, and at the risk of the then easy persecution for 
treason, he was determined to acquit himself of the task. 
He watched the going out and the coming in of the mag- 
nanimous but politic king. At length he caught his eye ; 
he pressed forward thi-ough the crowd of courtiers as William 
was mounting his horse; he laid the petition .on his saddle 


bow; the king's eagle-eyes flashed fire, and his stern brow; 
was fiercely bent. 

" Now, by heaven, this young man is too bold/' he ex- 
claimed wrathfully ; but the same moment his noble nature 
reminded him how he had himself risked all things for what 
he considered to be his country's cause, and his royal brow 
relaxed; " That is to say," he added with almost a gracious 
smile, " if a man can be too bold in the service of his 

But with these words all magnanimity appeared to cease. 
He rode on; and thenceforth his countenance towards the 
Scottish scheme was as cold as ever. 

So great was the interest excited throughout Scotland, so 
numerous the petitions from shires and burghs, that the 
king found himself compelled (1699) to issue " a proclama- 
tion against petitioning,^' which, and the reasons assigned 
for it, will be found in " the collection of papers" above 

The' Last Efforts. — Again the Scots sent forth a 
colony as ill-officered and ill-ministered as before. Fanati- 
cism assisted all other baleful agencies in counteracting the 
bold design ; again a reinforcement was sent out under the 
conduct of the gallant Campbell of Finab. He withstood 
the Spaniards, but he was conquered at length by circum- 
stances. Pestilence and famine once more invaded the 
colony. Besieged by the Spaniards, they were at length 
forced to capitulate, with all the honours of war. So weak 
were they as they departed, that their brave enemies 
were obliged to heave up their anchors for them, and to 
set their sails. 

The Abandonment. — Thus Darien was abandoned, 
■and with it the noblest scheme of civilisation that was 
ever planned. 

We are told by historians, that the indignation of the 
Scots remained fervent and enduring. Their indignation 
would not be pacified; nor in the reign of William's 


successor would tliey consent to the union, until full com-: 
pensation had been made to the Scots Company. 

Chambers, of Edinburgh, in an article on the Darien 
scheme in his " Speculative Manias," says: — " It was long 
before the Scotch forgot or forgave the ruin of their favourite 
project. At the union of the two kingdoms in 1707, some 
compensation was made to the losers by government, not 
nearly sufficient, however, to cover the national losses ; and 
for more than eighty years the memory of William's conduct 
in the Darien Scheme rankled in the heart of the Scotch. 
Besides impeding the union itself, it contributed greatly to 
strengthen the Jacobite feeling which broke out in the 
rebellions of 1715 and 1745. Even so late as the year 
1788, when some gentlemen in Edinburgh proposed to 
erect a monument to commemorate King William and- the 
Kevolution of 1688, the aiFair was remembered, and an 
anonymous letter, which appeared in the newspapers, pro- 
posing that the site of the intended monument should be 
the valley of Glencoe, and that there should be executed on 
one side of the base a representation in relievo of the 
massacre, and on the other a view of the Scottish colony on 
the Isthmus of Darien, produced such an impression that 
the gentlemen were obliged to abandon their scheme." 

Queen Anne, in 1702, soon after her accession, recog- 
nised the Company in a royal letter, and was graciously 
pleased " to regret our Company's said losses and. disap- 
pointments as being a great prejudice and loss to the whole 
kingdom," and promised to concur cheerfully in anything 
that could be reasonably proposed for the Company's 
reparation and assistance. 

By the 15 th Article of the Union, the sum ■ of 
jS398,085 10s., was to be advanced by England as com- 

The Eepakation. — " Years rolled on," says Warburton, 

" and the wrongs of Scotland, at length, made themselves 

.heard. A compensation for the sufferers by England's 


policy in the Darien scheme, was decreed. Paterson, alone, 
obtained no share in the tardy justice." 

Sir John Dalrymple writes — "After the Union, he 
claimed reparation for his losses from the equivalent 
money given by the English to the Darien Company, but 
got nothing, because," he adds bitterly, 'j a grant to him 
from a public fund, would have been only an act of honesty, 
and not a political job." 

I have been fortunately enabled to find, in the British 
Museum, a pamphlet entitled, " Paterson's Amendment," 
which concludes as follows : — 

Paterson's Amendment. — " Upon consideration of 
the whole matter, the Committee come to the following 
resolutions : — 

" Eesolved, That the petitioner, WiUiam Paterson, Esq., 
hath been at great expence and pains, and sustained con- 
siderable losses in the service of the late African and Indian 
Company of Scotland, and ought to be remembered, and 
have a recompense for the same. 

"Eesolved, That the sum of £18,421 10s. lO^d. ought 
to be conveyed and made good to the petitioner." 

The note appended, says — " Agreed to by the House, 
the 10th of July, 1713."' 

I find, however, in an article in the " Retrospective 
Review" for this month (February), that he did not get the 
money, as " this bill was thrown out in the House of Lords, 
upon no grounds that are intelligible at the present day.'* 

Sir John Sinclair tells us, that Paterson subsequently 
represented the district of Burghs, in his native country, in 
the House of Commons. 

Memoirs of Darien. — I shall now proceed to give 
the substance of the " Memoirs of- Darien," Glasgow, 1715, 
an exceedingly rare book (not to be found in the British 
Museum), which contains the most precise detail I have 
met with of the proceedings of the colony, and of the 
several successive expeditions which went out from Scot- 


land; the author was one of the Presbyterian ministers 
(either Alexander Dalgleish, or Archibald Stobo), who 
went out with the third expedition in the Rising Sun. 
First fortifying himself for his work by a few quotations 
from Job, Jeremiah, and the elder prophets, he proceeds 
to narrate, in a clear and precise manner, the progress of 
events and the causes of failure, and concludes with thanks- 
givings for his escape (in which the reader will join), and 
further quotations from Job, etc. 

First Expedition. — " Soon after their arrival," which 
was on 2nd November, 1698, " the chief Indians here 
being friendly to them, welcomed them to settle in the 
country, and consented to a grant Unto them of that Place 
and Lands adjacent, our Counsellors satisfying them there- • 
fore to their full content." 

The author proceeds to relate, that Captain Pincarton, 
on his passage from Caledonia to Carthagena to seek pro- 
visions, got wrecked, and was made prisoner by the 
Spaniards; but afterwards '' released upon the capitulation 
made with the Spaniards, March 31, 1700." He then 
details a slight skirmish with Spaniards, near the settle- 

" All the time of their abode here, which was upwards 
of seven months, they say they never had so much as one 
letter or vessel from Scotland, xhich was a great dis- 
couragement to them, and no good Politick in our Directors 
at home; and it was an awfull frown upon this Design, 
the Shipwrack of that vessel which was sent from the 
Clyde, about January 1699, in order to go for the Colony, 
and its miscarrying in the undertaking." 

Its Failure, and why it Failed.— " On the 20th 
day of June,- 1699, they all dislodged and left Darien." 
The causes of the failure of the colony he states, to be, 
scarcity and want of provisions, sickness, the king's pro- 
clamation prohibiting trade, alarms of preparations by the 
Spaniards to. dislodge them, the number of heads, a selfish 
spirit, and the seeking of private interests, jealousies and 


dissensions among themselves, and " janings, divisions, 
bitterness, and misunderstandings among the counsellors 
and leading men." 

" When they took farewell and sailed from Darien, 
they were in all four ships together, viz., the Caledonia, 
the St. Andrew, the Unicorn, and a Pink"; the latter, 
became leaky, and had to be abandoned ; the St. Andrew 
(Captain Pennycook) got to Jamaica, having lost one 
hundred men on the passage, whilst the Caledonia and 
Unicorn got to New York, with the loss of three hundred 
men at sea; finally the Caledonia reached Scotland. 

" This desertion did lay the ground of the miscarriage 
and defeating of whatever following recruits and supplies 
• the Company of Scotland sent unto this place." 

Second Expedition — A Ship on Fike. — " Eight 
weeks after" their departure from Darien, " there arrived 
two ships from Scotland upon the place thus forsaken, with 
Recruits of men and provisions for the Colony, which were 
Captain Jamison and Captain Stark, with over 300 men. 
.... " Within a few days after their arrival, Captain 
Jamison's ship being loaded with Provisions and Brandie, 
while some were drawing Brandie in the Hould of the 
ship, having alighted candle with them, accidentally the 
fire of the candle catched hold of the Brandie, which forth- 
with flamed so terribly that it set the ship on fire, and in a 
little time destroyed both ship and provisions." 

This second expedition was then obliged to abandon 
the place, and sail for Jamaica in Captain Stark's ship, all 
the provisions having been on board Jamison's vessel. Six 
only of the party determined to remain behind and live 
with the Indians; and these men were subsequently found 
by the next expedition in good health and spirits, having 
])een most hospitably treated by the Indians. 

Immorality of the Colonists. — The author then 
gives a most gloomy account of the sadly immoral and 
profane character of the colonists, and calls them " a sad 
reproach to the nation." 


" When the Elslng Sun and her party came up, they 
found the first colony, and Jamison's and Stark's party, 
removed and gone; and they never knew of it until they 
got thither. When Captain Baillie, with a small vessel, 
arrived there from Scotland, though they found the Eising 
Sun's party upon the place, yet the capitulation with the 
Spaniards was concluded near two days before his arrivaL 
When Captain M'= Dowall, in a ship from Dundee, had come 
to Caledonia with provisions, he found the place possessed 
by the Spaniards, our men having removed to Jamaica." 

These results of bungling mismanagement, and want of 
concerted arrangement on the part of the Company, the 
author attributes to Divine wrath, and imp'oves them by a 
long sermon, plentifully interlarded with texts of scripture. 
, Third Expedition. — " The next adventurers for Cale- 
donia were the Rising Sun and her party" [whom the author 
accompanied], "who had no better success in the expedition 
than their countrymen who went before them. They were 
in all four ships: the Eising Sun, Captain Gibson com- 
mander; the Companies' Hope, Captain Miller; the Hamil- 
ton, Captain Duncan; and the Hope of Burroughstoness, 
Captain Dalling. They had in all about 1,200 men aboard 
their several bottoms.'' 

Passage Out. — "At length the wind presenting fair, 
we all set sail together from Eothesay, in Boot [Bute], on 
September the 24th, 1699, being the Lord's Day." 

Effects of the Kin&'s Peoclamation. — "But the 
Goyernour of Montserat was so inhuman, that he denyed 
us the liberty of having any water or provisions there, 
pretending his orders from the Court of England for so 
doing. Here our counsellors heard some flying reports 
about the desertion of our colony, but they would not 
believe it." 

Arrival. — " All arrived safe in Caledonia Bay on the 
30th of November." On their passage out, one hundred 
and sixty persons, amongst whom was Mr. Alexander Dal- 
gleish, one of the ministers, died. This excessive mortality 


must have arisen from close crowding and bad provisions. 
Upon tlieir arrival, they found the place abandoned ; but 
Captain Thomas Drummond, from New York, and Mr. 
Fulton, from New England, had just arrived in the bay 
with two sloops and some provisions. 

Short Allowance, MuTiNr, and an Execution. 
— On account of the shortness of provisions, it was decided 
to send five hundred men In the two sloops to Jamaica, " so 
that the number being fewer, the provisions might last the 
longer," and to put the remainder on short allowance, which 
caused much grumbling and discontent, and finally a mutiny, 
which was suppressed by the execution of Alexandei Camp- 
bell on the 20th of December. 

Peesbyteky or Caledonia. — The author gives a 
copy of a document, drawn up on the 19th of July, 1699, 
by the Commissioner of the General Assembly at Glasgow, 
appointing Alexander Shields, Minister of the Gospel at 
St. Andrew; Francis Borland, Minister of the Gospel at 
Gla^foord; Alexander Dalgleish, and Archibald Stobo, as 
the Presbytery of Caledonia. This document Is signed by 
George Hamilton, Moderator, and James Bannatyne, Cler. 
Syn. Nat. and Comm''. 

Solemn Thanksgiving. — In consequence of the great 
suiFerings of the colonists, " thd 3rd of January, 1700, was 
set apart for solemn thanksgiving, prayer, and humiliation,' 
as stated in the report to the Moderator of the General 
Assembly, drawn up " at a conference of the ministers 
aboard the ship, the Hope of Burroughstoness, Dec. 5, 
1699." In this report, the colonists are accused of the most 
profligate and immoral conduct. 

The people were chiefly employed in building huts and 
store-houses, and bringing great guns on shore for the de- 
fence of the place : the ministers complain greatly that they 
had no huts to reside in, that their commanders were " un- 
comfortable," and that the people would not come to hear 
them preach. 

Captain Dkummond Imprisoned. — The next occur- 


rencc recorded by the author is, that Captain Drummond, 
having been suspected of ill conduct in the first colony, 
•was, after an investigation, kept prisoner on board Captain 
Duncan's ship until the arrival of Captain Campbell, of 

Then follows a letter on the state of irreligion in the 
colony, from Shields, Borland, and Stobo, to the Moderator 
of the Commission of the General Assembly of Scotland, 
dated " from the Woods of Caledonia, Feb. 2, 1700." 

" The government and management of affairs of this 
colony was in the hands of four Commissioners, Captain 
Gibson, James Byars, Captain Veatch, and Major Lindsay." 

Captain Campbell, op Finab, arrives. — " On 
the 11th of February, arrived here, in a sloop from Bar- 
badoes, Captain Campbell, of Finab, having orders from 
our Directors at home to be one of our Counsellors." 

Spakish Hostilities. — On the 13th of February 
they received intelligence of hostile movements on the part 
of the Spaniards. 

They go into Action. — February 15. A skirmish 
took place at Yaratuba, about twenty miles S.W. of the 
fort. Several spies came to the settlement on pretence of 
selling tortoise-shell and provisions ; the colonists com- 
menced erecting batteries. 

Between the 23rd and 25th of February, eleven sail of 
Spanish vessels anchored in the bay; and the Spaniards 
came over land with negroes, mulattos, and Indians, from 
Panama and Santa Maria, under the command of General 
Don Juan Pimienta : some skirmishes occurred, in one of 
which Captain M'^Intosh was killed. After this, " the 
Spanish general sent a drummer with a demand or chal- 
lenge to our Counsellors, which our men, for want of an 
interpreter, did not well understand, but declared that 
they were gentlemen of honour, and would, to their utmost, 
defend themselves and the place." 

They won't sueeendee. — Captain Ker was then 
sent to treat with the Spanish general about articles ojf 


capitulation, but " the treaty broke up without effect on 
the 22nd March"; and the Spaniards hemmed them in on 
all sides. 

Capitulation. — On the 28th and 29th the Spaniards 
opened fire from the woods, and cut them off from their 
watering place. Spoiled provisions, bad water, and sickness, 
were fast reducing the colony, when, " on the 30th and 
31st March, General Don Pimienta himself offered to capi- 
tulate with our Counsellors, all of whom agreed except Captain 
Campbell, of Finab, who was always against any treating 
with the Spaniards otherwise than by the sword." 

" The Articles of Capitulation agreed upon between 
His Excellency Don John Pimienta, Captain of His Catho- 
lick Majesty's Forces both by sea and land, and Governor 
of Carthagena, and the Commissioners of Fort St. Andrew, 
in the Bay of Caledonia, about the surrendering of the said 
Fort St. Andrew, March 31, 1700," were drawn up in 
Latin by Mr. James Main, and are subscribed by Pimienta, 
Gibson, and Veatch, Captain Lindsay having died, and 
Byars having gone to Jamaica. 

A Strong Smell of Gunpowder. — Here the author 
thinks it necessary to vindicate the honour of the colonists, 
and to give the reasons which decided them to surrender; 
from which it appears, that famine, rotten provisions, 
putrid water, sickness and mortality, internal dissensions, 
a fleet of eleven armed Spanish vessels in, the harbour, 
and an army of Spanish negroes, mulattos, and Indians 
hemming them in on all sides by land, were not the imme- 
diate and sufficing inducements, but " the want of bullets," 
the officers having melted up all the pewter vessels, and 
" the dampness of the gunpowder." Surely the author, for 
a religious professor, was of a strangely pugnacious tempe- 

Departure from Darien.— 11th April, 1700. All 
the survivors, having been most generously treated by the 
Spaniards, " embarked and sailed next day; the four ships 
that came from Scotland, Baillie's vessel, Captain Campbell's 
sloop, and an old sloop." 


Ship Fever. — On tie passage " they were sadly 
crowded together, like so many hogs in a sty, or sheep in a 
fold, so that their breath ahd noisome srnell infected and 
poisoned one another .... their best food was a little 
spoiled oatmeal and water," so that great mortality en- 


BUT WITH A Caution not to go again. — On the 

7th of May, they arrived at Blewfields, Jamaica, whence 
the author, with the more fortunate, made his way home 
to Glasgow, and subsequently wrote his exceedingly 
interesting book. And now I shall take leave of his 
reverence, and of the subject. 






To His Excellency the Viceroy and Captain-General 
of those Kingdoms. 

The Governor of Most excellent Sir, — I have deferred 
redge™\he''reoe°pt answering your Excellency's dispatch of 
of the order in tlie 23rd of July, upon the destruction 

which yo^- E^cel- p ^jj establishment of Principe of 
lency commanaea ... . 

the establishment Darien, until it had been accomplished 

denwlished'^- he also ^^ *^^ Governor, ad interim, of that pro- 
relates the mode in vince, Don Francisco de Ayala, with 

which the evacda. ^^^ ^^^^ ^o save your Excellency the 
tion of that post , •' ■' 

was eflected. trouble of two dispatches on the same 

subject; I now reply, and enclose the ad- 
joined dispatch, in which that officer reports the withdrawal 
of the troops, inhabitants, and everything that existed in that 
post. The militiamen who served in that province have 
returned to their homes, and there only remain* in it 150 
men in garrison, composed of two light companies of forty 
men each, and a stationary company of Natives of the 
province, according to your Excellency's instructions. The 
only thing wanting is the construction of a fort on the 
Island of Boca Grande, and two boats to cruise off it and 
Chiman. That town does not belong to the government 
of Darien, being in mine; wherefore I have withdwrawn 
irom Ayala 50 men of the 200 that your Excellency 
appointed for his force, upon the supposition that Chiman 


was dependant on Darlen and not on Panama; and upon 
this reduction has resulted another of 13 soldiers, the 37 
which that town now has, being sufficient for its defence. 

This is all I have to communicate to your Excellency on 
the subject, and I wait to obey your further orders. God 
keep your Excellency many years. 

Joseph Dom^s t Vallez. 

Panama, 27th Oct., 1790. 

No. 2. 




Diary and Relation of the Route that I followed in crossing 
the Isthmus of Darien, from North to South. 

Sunday, the 2nd of the present month, I left Carolina, at 
six, a.m, accompanied by the Indian Suspani, Captain of 
the Tillage of Sucubti, and two of his comrades, with the 
linguist, Pius the fifth, commencing thejourney by following 
up the waters of the Aglatomate, with many and repeated 
crossings, until we arrived close to the Cordillera, where the 
Indians of Chueti have a small house, which is the same as 
that mentioned in my first despatch of the 22nd of January, 
and serves as a hostelry to the above-mentioned Indians, and 
those of Sucubti, who are the usual traders to Carolina, by 
this road. From Carolina to this place, the distance is two 
and a half leagues, little more or less; upon arriving at 
a place they call the two mouths, it is necessary to follow 
that on the right hand, which, in the dry season, is quite 
dried up, and the better to know this place, one will meet 
an Indian shed covered with plantain leaves, and at a 
little distance from this, in the line of the Cordillera, will 
be seen a smaller hill than those to the right; up to this 



there will be foimd water in this branch of the river, which 
has in some places a bottom of sand, and in others of shells, 
whilst higher up there are stones and pebbles. Taking 
care, after recognising those marks, to keep to the right of 
the river, the path or trail leading to the above-mentioned 
hostelry, which, is from sixteen to twenty yards from the 
river, will be found; from thence the road over the Cor- 
dillera, from north and south, cannot be missed, since, after 
crossing three or four small rivulets, or rather, crossing the 
same one three or four times, with a little care a broken 
bank will be found on the right hand ; this is where the 
path over the Cordillera commences, and it is as wide and 
trodden as if it were made by our people (Spaniards); the 
whole ascent is rather steep, and half way up a fallen trunk 
of a tree stops the path. From this place may be seen the 
Sea, and Carolina. 

Following the path to the right, and avoiding that on 
the left which leads to Chueti, the mountain is crossed ; 
the descent of which, on the other side, is more gradual 
and sloping; at its foot the river Forti unites with the 
Sucubti. Following the Sucubti down, to the south, after 
two or three hours of a good road, a plantain ground and a 
very small hut will be found ; in half an hour another, 
both on the right hand ; and in other hour a third, on the 
left hand side. A quarter of a league lower down on the 
left hand will be met another, larger than the rest, which 
is that of Ignacio, the elder brother of Urruchurchu, and 
the same in which they received me when I started on my 
first journey in January. In this house I stopped to rest, 
having arrived about two o' clock in the evening ; and after 
resting awhile, I proceeded by a road which is at the back 
of it; and ascending a mountain, the path over which can- 
not be missed, it is so beaten, I descended again to the 
river, which has here many rocks. Taking care not to 
lose sight of the river, there will be seen— first, an Indian 
hut, then another, and then the village of Sucubti, where 
Urruchurchu lives. This village consists of six houses 


together, those above-mentioned, and two or three lower 
down ; and it may have about 30 Indians capable of bear- 
ing arms, a few more women, and sixty children. 

Monday, the 3d. — I stopped at this village all day, as 
Urruchurchu was making preparations for the continuance 
of our journey. 

Tuesday, the 4th. — I started at daybreak, accompanied 
by the captain and two of his Indians, and followed down 
the river over level ground and through an open forest ; and 
about 10 A.M., after having proceeded about two leagues, 
we left the river altogether, following a path to the left. 
All the rest of this day we walked through a forest exceed- 
ingly level and open ; here the Indians of Sucubti hunt, on 
account of the abimdance of all kinds of ^game — at about 
5J P.M., we halted at a rivulet which had scarcely water 
enough to satisfy our thirst. 

Wednesday, the 5th. — We pursued our journey through 
the same forest, and at ten o'clock we again fell in with the 
Sucubti at the place where the Indians attacked the Lieu- 
tenant of the Stationary BataUion of Panama, and wounded 
his guide. 

As soon as we arrived at this place, Urruchurchu told 
me, that we could not proceed until some Indians should 
come with their canoes, to carry us down a short distance 
to the road that the Spaniards had opened.* 

We were waiting for those canoes until Thursday, the 
6th, when four arrived with eight Indians, who, as I under- 
stood, were allied with the rebel Chucunas ; and I found 
they were not of those who had entered into the peace with 
us, but were always watching to attack any of our people, 
who might stray into the bush from the establishment of 
Port Principe. 

The above-mentioned Indians put many questions to me, 
aU fiiU of malignity, and expressed themselves opposed to 
the opening of the road — saying, that they would not allow 

* This was Ansa's road. 
O 2 


troops to march tlirougK their territory, and that, as for the 
communication we desired with Puerto Principe, it would 
be sufficient that they themselves should carry our des- 
patches, and anything else we wanted ; and that they wished 
to be at peace with us, but on condition that we should 
keep in our country, and they in theirs ; to all which I 
assented, in order that they might let me continue my 
journey ; whereupon they were satisfied, and Urruchurchu 
made them a present of some yards of stuff that your Ex- 
cellency gave him in Garth agena, and that he prudently 
brought with him for the purpose. This day at 10 a.m., 
we embarked on the river, and about two leagues lower 
down, we halted, at the road that they call Arisa's. 

Friday the 7th. — At daybreak we proceeded along the road 
opened by the Spaniards, and after three hours' walk we 
crossed the Chucuna river by a bridge, and arrived at the 
island where Don Luis de la Carrara was encamped : here 
we found tracks and lately erected sheds (rancherias) of the 
Chucunas, whereat Urruchurchu became alarmed; and to 
conduct me the more safely, he went before with the 
other Indians, I following a good distance behind, until we 
passed the other branch of this river^ lately named La Paz 
(Peace river). 

At this place the other Indians left us, considering us out 
of danger, but, notwithstanding, taking the precaution to 
efface the footsteps that I left in the sand, and to warn us 
not to return by the same way, lest we might fall in with 
the Chucunas. I proceeded then with Urruchurchu, and 
about five in the evening had the felicity to arrive at Puerto 
Principe, where the said Suspani {alias Urruchurchu) 
advised that we should return by the river Savanas,* 
Chuounaqua and Jubganti, coming out at the village of 
Chueti, a short day's distance from Carolina, which plan 
appeared the best to Don Andres de Arlsa, who considered 
it attentively. 

* This is the only place in which I have ever seen the river 
Savana named. 


The lOth. — 1 proceeded on my return back by the route 
above mentioned, and was two days on my way to Yavisa, 
as we only went wben tbe tide permitted. In this town 
I stopped all the 12th to get ready a canoe to continue my 
journey, and at nine o'clock at night we started, but having 
informed Urruchurchu that the governor had written to me 
to say that two Indians had come close to Puerto Principe 
in pursuit of rae, he became much troubled and said that 
those were Chucunas who were tracking us, and that he 
was sure that when they saw we did not return the way we 
had come, they were so malignant they would go to meet 
us at the mouth of Jubganti ; upon this, foreseeing the 
danger, I determined to go back and send Captain Suspani 
to Carolina with the dispatches that I carried, which 
arrangement satisfied him, as he did not wish that any 
misfortune should occur to one of us, lest the blame might 
be thrown upon him, notwithstanding his good intentions. 
Manuel de Milla Santa Ella. 

Yavisa, 13th March, 1788. 

To His Excellency the Viceroy, Don Antonio Caballero y 

The 2nd Com- Your Excellency, — Under date, Ya- 
mandant General of • ,i i o ,i j? .i , , i ,i 

the establishments ^i^a, the 13th of the present month, the 

forwards to your adjutant Don Manuel Milla writes me 

paTcW^ adjutant the following : 

Don Manuel Milla, "Signer Don Francisco Fersen, — By 

transmits the origi- ^^^ adjoined diary you will know all 
nal diary of that ^ •' ■' 
officer, and recom- that has been done, as well as the 
mends to your Ex- motives of my taking this step,* since 
cellenoy's conside- . ■> • c t -c c \ 
ration the singular it would be very pamtul it, alter havmg 
merit that he de- accomplished my purpose, some fatality- 
serves from his dis- , , , t i ■ in 
charge of his im- should occur, i cannot explain mysell 

portant commis- jngre fully, lest I may detain Suspani 
and his Indians, but as soon as I arrive 

* That is, returning to Carolina by way of Panama and Porto- 
bello, instead of by the Chuquanaqua. 


at Puerto Principe, 1 shall write you a more detailed 
account, and beg to acquaint you tliat my return to my 
post (at Carolina) will te with all possible haste. God 
keep you many years. 

Manuel de Milla Santa Ella." 
Yavisa, March 13, 1788. 

The which I transmit to your Excellency with the original 
diary of the journey of that officer, whose singular merit 
and love of the service have been manifested, in so distin- 
guished a manner, on this important occasion, that I doubt 
not that your Excellency, who knows so weU how to 
appreciate merit, will consider him worthy of being intro- 
duced to the notice of the Sovereign, that he may receive 
from the royal bounty a reward corresponding to so distin- 
guished a service, and I make the present known to your 
Excellency in fidfilment of my duty. God keep yoixr 
Excellency many years. 

Feancisco de Feksen. 

Carolina, March 24th, 1788. 

No. 3. 


To His Excellency Don Antonio CahaUero y Gottgora, 
Santa Fe de Bogota. 

Most Excellent Sir, — By the adjoined diaries. No. 24, of 
the last sixteen days of tlie month of December last, and 
No. 1 of the first fifteen days of the present month, your 
excellency will be put in possession of the occurrences of 
tlie said period, and also of the state of the troops who 
garrison this establishment, of the promotions that have 


taken place, and of the present strength of the force. God 
keep your excellency many years. 

Antokio Velasquez. 
Carolina, 16th January, 1788. 

Diary, No. 24. 

Dec. 17th, 1787. Luis Sanchez, spldier of the stationary 
regiment of Carthagena, died in the hospital of the island. 

21st. Anchored at dayhreak, in this bay, the merchant 
schooner Nuestra Senora de la Candelaria, captain Don 
Domingo Garcia, with provisions for sale for the estahlish- 
ments of Darien and Porto Bello. 

At 9 A.M. arrived captain Urruchurchu, alias Suspani, 
with his brother, son and daughter, and four of his com- 
rades ; they stopped all night at the establishment, which is 
the first time that such a thing has happened ; he said that 
it was now time for the rivers to fall, and that when we 
wished to open the roads, the Indians would all be willing to 
give their consent; that he had not brought his wife because 
she was ill of fever, but would bring her next month, to be 
cured, and to live near the settlement. 

At 7 P.M. sailed for Carthagena His Majesty's brigantine 
El Goro, with dispatches on the royal service. 

23d. Captain Urruchurchu departed. Anchored the 
merchant sloop La Altisidora, captain Don Francisco Alonzo, 
with dispatches on the royal service, from Concepcion. 

24th. The convict Antonio Ruiz died this day. 

25th. Anchored the felucca Santa Ana, captain Don Juan 
de Acosta, from the Sinu, with provisions to sell at these 

27th. Anchored the schooner Nuestra Senora de los 
Dolores (our Lady of Sorrows), Capt. Silvestre Niiios, from 

28th. Anchored His Majesty's brigantine Fachin, capt. 
Don Vicente Soli^r, with the relief of the regiment of the 
Princess, 16 artillerymen, vfeteransand militiamen, a lieuten- 


ant, 2 Serjeants, and a militiaman of tte companies of 
Choco, and 4 soldiers of all colours ; she brings provisions 
for those establishments, and money for Concepcion and 

29th. Sailed for Sapote * the schooner Nuestra Senora 
de los Dolores ; and for Carthagena the schooner San Josef, 
alias El Atrevido (the Intrepid). 

30th. Arrived capt. Hill, of Putrigandi, with- his son, to 
receive payment for the palm leaves brought by the schooner, 
and which amounted to 20 dollars and 3 reals ; having 
asked him if there was anything new, and if the Indians of 
Captain Hill, John'sj and those of the Chuquanaqua 
were still rebellious, he replied that they were all willing to 
enter into the peace, and that there was nothing new 
amongst them ; the same account was given me by Capt. 
Urruchurchu on the day that he visited the establishment. 

31st. Sailed for Cayman the sloop Altisidora. 

Antonio Velasquez. 

Carolina, 31st Dec. 1787. 

[Then follows a list of the troops and inhabitants amount- 
ing in all to 650 individuals; to this list the following 
notes are appended : 

Notes. — The promotions which took place last month 
were in consequence of the detachment of artillery, and 
La Princesa not having been relieved. 

Of the e.'iO individuals composing the whole population, 
151 are colonists and others employed at this establisment, 
and forty-two sick ; so that there only remain for service, 
457 men. 

Of the 457 remaining for service, there are employed 
dally, two officers, eight Serjeants, one drummer, ten cor- 
porals, thirteen artillerymen, and ninety-eight soldiers, be- 
sides those employed in the works, and the company of 

* In Cispata Bay, near the mouth of the Sinu. — E. C. 


volunteers at work on the island ; remaining off duty in 
this fort, 276 men. 

Joseph de Guekka t Vaos. 

Antonio Velasquez. 
Carolina of Darien, 1st January, 1788. 

Diary, No. 1 , 

Containing the transactions of the first 15 days of January, 


2d. — Captain Hall went away with his son, his brother, 
and three Indians that he brought ; he said, that when 
he sent for the Palm-leaves that he had cut, he would bring 
his wife, who wanted to see the Spaniards, and their settle- 
ments ; and that the reason he had not brought her, was, 
that his canoes (piraguas) were small, and the Indian women 
were afraid to embark on them, as they did not know how 
to swim. 

4th. — Sailed for Concepcion, Mandinga, and Portobello, 
the schooner, Nuestra Sefiora de la Candelaria, Captain Don 
Domingo Garcia. 

9th. — Anchored at daybreak, His Majesty's Gun Sloop, 
La Mehsendraj Captain Don Manuel de Echandia, from 
Carthagena and Zapote ; she brings despatches on the 
royal service, and is to remain in command of the Bay, in 
place of the sloop Pentiquinestra, which is to preceed to 

7th. — Anchored ; Don Bartolome Camilo's sloop, with 
letters from him, communicating to me His Excellency's 
orders to him, to send the uprights, palni-leaveSj beams, 
and other things necessary for the house and settlements 
that are to be built : he forwarded eighteen labourers, and 
advised me that in the boats which would bring the above 
materials, he would send the remainder of the labourers. 

Also anchored, the sloop Dona Eodriguez from Concep- 
cion and Mandinga, to which establishments she conveyed 
provisions on account of His Majesty. 


Sailed, His Majesty's brigantine, San Joaquin, for Con- 
ception and Mandinga, witli stores and provisions ; and also. 
Don Bartolome Camilo's sloop, for the mouths of the Atrato. 

8th. Sailed for Cayman, Gandi, and the mouth of the 
Atrato, His Majesty's schooner Dulcinea ; she convoys the 
Choco Indians, who go in five canoes to the mouth of the 
Atrato, and is to leave the lay-brother, Frai Pedro from 
Concepcion at Gandi, with an Indian of that town lately 
baptised, who has a commission from His Excellency the 
Viceroy ; she proceeds to Cayman, for the purpose of seeking 
a Choco Indian who lives in that settlement. 

Sailed for Concepcion and Mandinga, the sloops Virgin 
of Monserrate, Captain Don Joseph Doyle, and the sloop, 
Dona Kodriguez for Zapote, with letters on the royal ser- 
vice for Captain Don Bartolome Camilo, and for Don Diego 
Vellojon, who was commissioned to seek after the sloop 
Mariana, which left for cattle two months and eleven days 
ago, and has not appeared since. 

Fernando Lecadio, captain and owner of the Dona 
Rodriguez, having informed me that he had learned from 
the Indian Pita that the Lele (Indian priest), of Carti, had 
told him that there was an English ship, with many people 
on board, and fourteen guns, on the coast, at the same place 
where last year and the year before there appeared another, 
which escaped our vessels, I immediately sent this infor- 
mation, through an officer, to Don Manuel de Echandia, 
the commandant of the bay, in order that he might, if he 
deemed it proper, set sail with his gun-sloop, the Milisendra, 
and the Pentiquinestra, Capt. Don Francisco Echeno, in 
search of the said ship, and that he might call upon me for 
every assistance that he required. 

9th. The said Echandia replied, that he would sail at 
once with the two vessels, and tliat he required no assistance, 
since he would be able, with his vessels, to defeat the 
English ship; at two o'clock in the evening he sailed. 

Commenced, to-day, to clear the ground for the house 
for the new settlers. 


10th. — 'Anchored off the point of Golden Island His 
Majesty's brigantine, San Joaquin; she comes from above, 
■with loss of her mainsail, which the Captain reported to 
me, with a request for assistance, whieh I immediately 

Nine a.m. anchored the gunboat, Don Antonio, from 
Concepcion, with dispatches on the royal service. 

The two gun-sloops which sailed yesterday were sighted 

12th. — Anchored the sloop Altisidora, frotn Cayman; 
arrived from up the coast, the sloop' Nuestra Senora de 

13th. — Anchored at eight, a.m., his Majesty's brigantine, 
Don Belianis, from Zapote, with letters from Don Bartolome 
Camilo, a cargo of upright posts, laths, bushrope, beams, 
and yards, and thirteen labourers. 

This day the banks of the river Aglaseniquia were ex- 
amined, from its mouth to its head, in order to select the 
best place for the new settlements that are to be established 
according to superior orders. 

The convict, Manuel Molina, died in the hospital of the 

14th. — The Don Belianis began to discharge cargo. 

Francisco Gonzales, militiaman of the 2nd company of 
Nata, died suddenly. 

At four p.m., arrived Captain Urruchurchu, his brother, 
and three comrades ; he said, that when the road was to 
be opened, and the troops were to go to commence it, I 
should let him know, since the weather was now fine. I 
told him that I was waiting until his Excellency sent orders 
to commence opening the road. Having asked me when a 
boat should sail for Carthagena, because he wished to go 
there to see his Excellency, I replied that one would sail 
soon, and that I should notify to him the date of her 

Antonio Velasquez. 

Carolina, 15th January, 1788. 


I certify that the above documents are faithful copies of 
the originals existing in these archives. 

John Oscar Levt. 
Keeper of the Archives of the Government. 
Bogota, June 3, 1852. 

The signature of John Oscar Levy, appended to these 
documents is that of the Archivero. 

P. Wilson. 
Bogota, 4th June, 1852. 


Qlatalcrigue oi Useful &ooks 




In addition to the Works enumerated in this Catalogue, thb Books op all 
OTHER Publishers may be had at this Establishment immediately on their 

The Life and Times of Sir Thomas Gresham, 


Including Notices of many of his contemporaries, hy John Williasi Burgon, Esq. 

JJow offered,^or a limited time, at the very reduced price of 15s. In twp handsome 
large octavo volumes, embellished with a fine portrait, and twenty-nine other 
engravings, elegantly bound in cloth. Recently published at £1 10s. 

Sir Thomas Gebsham lived in the reigns of Hsnry VIII., Edward VI., Mary, and 
Elizalietli — Reigns not exceeded in interest by any period of our tiistory; and never was 
a man's life more actively and usefully spent in benefiting the land of his birth, and enrich- 
ing its metropolis. Commerce, in particular, then made a gigantic stride, of which he 
was by no means an inactive spectator ; and he has been not inaptly styled tlie " Great 
Patriarch of Commerce and Commercial Finance." 

With a liberality ti-nly patriotic, he erected for the convenience of Merchants, the 
Royal Exchange; and in addition to his other extensive charities, founded and endowed 
Seven Lectureships, for the gratuitous instruction of the Citizens op London in the seven 
liberal sciences. 

It is therefore confidently presumed, that few Mercliants, Bankers, or Members of the 
Corporation of the City of London, will be without it. 

Fery/fiw copies remain for sale of the large paper in 2 vols, royal 8vo. with proof impres- 
sions of the plates, price £\ 5s., published at ^3. 

These are two magnificent volumes in regard to size, illustration and tj'pography; nor are 
their literary contents unworthy of their external splendour, or the fame of the distinguished 
merchant to whose biogi'aphy they are devoted.— United Service Gazette. 

g^ Notice. — Any Volume not exceeding lib. in weight, may be sent, post-free^ to 
any part of the United Kingdom, for Sixpence in addition to the price. 



Mr. Boubleday's Financial and Monetary 

A rinancial, Monetary, and Statistical Hisiort of England, fiom the Eevolu- 
tion of 1688 to the present time; derived pi-incipally fi-om Official Docu- 
ments. By Thomas Doublecay, Esq., Author of "The True Law of 
Population," &c. &c. 

_ A work of absorbing interest and uncommon research. We have tested it minutelvj and believe it 
Btnctlj true, as it is unquestionably clear in its itatements.— Black"Wood's Edjkburgh Magazine. 

In 1 vol. 8vo., price 12*. cloth. 

Gumersall's Tables of Interest, etc. 

Interest and Discount Tables, computed at 2^, 3, 3i, 4, 4J, and 5 per cent., from 1 
to 365 days, and from £l to £20,000; that the Interest or Discount on any 
sum, for any number of days, at any of the above rates, may be obtained by 
the inspection of one page only. Each Rate occupies eighty pages: the last 
five of which are devoted to the same number of pounds from 1 to 11 months, 
and from 1 to 10 yeai-s. They are also accompanied with Tables of Time 
and Brokerage, being altogether a vast improvement on Thompson and 
others. By T. B. Gumersall, Accountant, London. 

This work is pre-eminently distinguipheo from all others on the same subject by facility of reference, 
distinctness of type, and accuracy of calculation. 

Seventh Edition, in 1 vol. 8vo. (pp. 500), price 10s. 6d., bound in cloth. 

Tate's Modern Cambist. 

The Modern Cambist: fonning a Manual of Exchanges in the various operations 
of Bills of Exchange and Bullion ; with Tables of Foreign Weights and Mea- 
sures, with their Equivalents in English, according to the practice of all Trading 
Nations. By William Tate. 

A work of great excellence Times. 

Seventh Edition, just Published, 12s. cloth. 

Chinese Duties. 

Schedule Tariff of Duties on the Foreign Trade with China, in Chinese and 
Mercantile Currency, Reduced into the Equivalent English Rates in Sterling 
Money. By W. Tate, Author of "The Modern Cambist." 
Qn a large Sheet, Price Is. 

Information about the British Funds: 

Being an accurate Account of the different Funds and Stocks; the Days of Trans- 
fer; and Tune of Payment of the Di^'idellds of each. 
Small, for tlic Pocket. Price 6rf., or post-fi-eo for 8 Queen's Heads. 

Fenn's Guide to the Funds, 

A Compendium of the English and Foreign Funds, and the principal Joint-Stock 
Companies; forming sin Epitome of tho vai-ious Objects of Investment 
negotiable in London; with some Account of the Internal Debts and Revenues 
iiC the Foreign States, and Tables for calculating the Value of tho different 
Stocks, &c. By Ciiakles Fenn, of the Stock Excliange. 
Third Edition. Price 5s., bound in cloth. 

This little volume rontnins a variety of wcll-nrrRnped information, irdisiirnsable to even capitalist, i > 
banker, merchant, trader, and nijrlcnUurisl.- Moknikg HtRALn, ' J^ 

So much useful matter In so small a coinitass is seldom to be met with.— Times. 


money and its Vicissitudes in Value ; 

As they effect National Industry and pecuniary contracts; witli a postscript on Joint 
Stock Banks. By Samddl Bailey, Esq., Author of "Essays on the 
Foi-mation of PubUo opinion," &c. 

224 pp. 8vo. Price 6s. boards. 

Tuck's Eailway Shareholders' Manual; 

Or Practical Guide to all the Railways in the World completed and in progress; 
containing Abstracts of the Railway Acts; Advice to Shareholders; the Laws 
relating to Shareholders and Speculators; Brokers' Rates of Commission for 
buying and selling Shares; Table to estimate Railway Dividends; Gross 
Earnings of all the principal Railways; Table showing the Price of Shares;, 
Railways open; Railways in course of Construction; Railways which received 
the Royal Assent last Session; Foreign Railways; Railway Offices and Officers, 
alphabetically arranged. The Accounts and Traffic corrected to the present 
time; forming the most complete Railway Synopsis ever compiled. By Hbnet 

Tenth Edition, greatly enlarged. Price «. bound in cloth, 

The Railway Returns, 1819, 1851, 

Made to the Special Orders of the House of Lords; prefaced with the results of 
previous returns, with a view to a complete comprehension of the nature of 
Railway Investments, and the restoration of confidence, by the adoption of a 
sound policy of management. By Akthur Smith, Author of " Railways as 
they really are," etc. 

Price 2s. 6d. 

Mining, on the Cost Book System. 

A Treatise on British Mining; with a Digest of the Cost Book System, Stannai-ie, 

and General Mining Laws. By Thomas Baktlett. 

In 8vo., cloth, Price 4s. 

Fynn's British Consul's Handbook, 

British Consuls abroad; their Origin, Rank, and Privileges, Duties, Jurisdiction, and 
Emoluments; including the Laws, Orders in Council, and Instructions by which 
they are governed, as well as those relating to Shipowners and Merchants in 
their connexion with Consuls. By Robert Fynn, Esc[., Barrister-at-Law. 

This work 13 written with manifest care and judjjraent; its contents aie not only of «ital importance to 
Ooiisnls, but to Merchants, Shipowners, Captains, and Travellers.-MaamiiO CHROHICLIS. 

New Edition, with the new Act of Parliament for facilitating Marriages 

Abroad. Price 6>., neatly bound, dedicatetl (by permission) to the 

General Shipowners' Society. 

Natal, Gape of Good Hope^ 

A Grazing, Agricultural, and Cotton-growing Country; comprisrag Descriptions 
of this well-endowed Colony, from the year 157.5 to the present time, by 
Government Officials and Travellers; with a Vocabulary of the Zulu Language, 
a Map of the Colony, and Engravings. By J. S. Christopher, of NataL 
4s. bound, with Views and Coloured Map. 

The National Debt & Public Funds Simplified. 

By Justin Bbenan, 
Author of " Composition and Punctuation famiharly explained." 

This is the cleverest exposition of these otherwise complicated matters ever published — THE Cmric 

Second Edition, with additions, Is. cloth, or Post free on receipt of 16 Queen's 



Coins of the Romans relating to Britain 
Described and Illustrated. 

Br John Yonge Akekman, P.S.A., 
Corresponding Member of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. 

Factum abilt, monumenta manent. — Ovid. Fast. 

In small 8vo., with numerous Engravings on steel and wood, and neatly bound, 

price 7s. 6d. 

Tate's Bankers' Glearing-House. 

The System of -the London Bankers' Clearances, and their Effects upon the Cur- 
rency, explained and exemplified by EonnuliE of the Clearing-house Accounts. 
By W. Tate, Author of " The Modem Cambist," etc. 2s. 6d. 

Jackson's Book-keeping. 

A New Check- Journal ; combining the advantages of the Day -Book, Journal 
and Cash-Book; forming a complete System of Book-keeping by Double 
Entry: with copious illustrations of Interest Accounts, and Joint Adventures; 
and a New Method of Book-keeping, or Double Entry by Single. By 
George Jackson, Accountant, London. 

Seventh Edition, with the most effectual means of preventing Fraud, Error, 
and Embezzlement, in Cash Transactions, and in the Receipt and Delivery 
of Goods, etc. Price 6s. cloth. 

We can conscientiously add our ineed of approval to that of tlie many who have already preceded us ia 
the same task, and strongly recommend it to general adoption. — ATH1.K.XVM. 

Walton's Calculator's Guide. 

Calculator's Sure Guide; or, the most comprehensive Eeckoner ever published: 
applicable to all business transactions. By William Walton, Accountant. 
1 large voliune 8vo. (600 pages), bound in cloth. Scarce. 

Railway Share and Stock Calculator. 

Tables for calculating Shares in Railway, Canal, Gas, Mining, Insurance, and other 
Companies, at any Price from l-16th of a Pound sterling, or Is. 3d. per 
Shai'e, up to £310 in value; and from 1 Share to 500. Applicable also to 
Foreign or English Stocks, or Bonds, and for other purposes; to wliich is 
annexed a Comprdiensive Table of Income Tax. By R. Edwin Robinson, 
Stock Exchange. 

Third Edition, with Scale of Commissiohs, as agreed by authority of the 
Committee of the Stock Exchange, London. Piice 7s. 6rf. cloth. 

Dr. Fraser Halle's Philosophy. 

Exact Philosophy. Books Fii'st and Second. By Hughes Eraser Halle, 
Ph. LL. D., Author of "Critical Letters,'' and of the Ai-ticles on "Hume's 
Esspy," " Schism," in the Britannic Censor of European Philosophi/, ^c. 
In 1 vol. post 8vo. Price 6s. cloth. 

Ward's Safe Guide to the Investment of 


Second Edition with Additions. IDs. 6d. 
A TREATISE on INVESTMENTS; being a Popular Exposition of the Ad- 
vantages and Disadvantages of each kind of Investment, and of the liability to 
Depreciation and loss. 

By Robert Arthur Ward, Solicitor, Maidenhead, Berkshire. 

Both capitalist and lawyer will find the most uscl\il hints In this voUinie.— Legai Olis£llV£n. 



Wool and Woollen Manufactures. 

COLONIAL SHEEP and WOOLS, with Remarks on the use of Alpaca, 
Angora, and Cashmere Goat's Wool, with Statistics of the Wool-producing 
Colonies, and Illustrated Maps. 

By Thomas Sotithet, Esq. 

In One "Volume, 8vo., with an APPENDIX, brought down to the Present Time. 

Price 12s., in cloth. 

The APPENDIX may be had separate, price 4s., in cloth. 

The Preparation of Long Line, Flax Cotton, 
and Flax Wool, 

By The CLAUSSEN PROCESS; with a Description of the Chemical and 
Mechanical Means employed. By John Rtan, L.L.D., etc., etc. 
Illustrated by Engravings. Price 5s. cloth. 

Partnership "en Gommandite." 

Partnership with Limited Liabilities (according to the commercial practice of the 
Continent of Europe and the United States of America) for the Employment 
of Capital, the Circulation of Wages, and the Revival of our Home and 
Colonial Trade. 

The United States are chiefly indebted for her rapid and prodigious rise to tliis system of commercial 
association, especially in the extraordinary growth of her manufactures, in which 6,000,0002. is now invested, 

giving employment to more than ] 00,000 persons, exclusive of those engaged in the cultivation of cotton. — 

In 1 vol. 8vo., Price 9s. in cloth. 

Drabwell's Coal Tables. 

Improved Coal-Market Tables, for ascertaining the Value of any quantity of 
Coals at any price; also. Discount and Scorage Tables. Sy William 
Deabwell, Accountant. 12mo. boards, 5s. 

Importance of Life Assurance. 

LIFE ASSURANCE; an Historical and Statistical Account of the Population, 
the Law of Mortality, and the different systems of Life Assurance, including 
the validity and non- validity of Life Policies, with observations on Friendly 
Societies and Savings' Banks; to which is added a review of Life Assu- 
rance, explanatory of the nature, advantages, and various purposes to which 
it may be applied. By Ali-red Burt, Esq. 

In 1 8vo. volume. Price 7s. 6d. in cloth. 

Anderson's Mercantile Letters. 

A Collection of Modem Letters of Business; with Notes, Critical and Explanatory; 
an Analytical Index; and an Appendix, containing pro-forma Invoices, Account 
Sales, Bills of Lading, and Bills of Exchange, Also, an Explanation of the 
German Chain-Rule, as applicable to the Calculations of Exchanges: with 
a Nomenclature of Technicalities not to be found in any Dictionary. By 
, W. Anderson. 

The New Edition is not merely valuable as examples of commercial style, but as introducing the reader 
and student, in the moat familiar and intelligible manner, to the system of commercial dealings in all its 
branches, as carried on between this and other countries j in fact, it is a book which should be found in every 
counting-house and school, as the general mercantile information which it communicates and familiarises 
cannot fail to render it interestmg to all classes of readers. — EXAMINEK. 

Fourth Edition, in a neat 12mo. volume, bound in cloth. Price 5s. 

*,* In addition to the foregoing, every Commbboial Work of keputk is constantly 

on Sale. 


TViih full allowance to Schools and Private Teachers. 

Tate's Elements of Commercial Arithmetic. 

Containing a Minute Investigation of the Principles of the Science, and their 
General Application to Commercial Calculations, and in accordance with the 
present Monetary System of the world. By W. Taxe^ 

Its execution equals anj. The rules are clear and more precise than usual. The Exercises are neatlj 
composed, and have a greater relation to the actual business of the world than is customary with elementary 
books; whilst, to every branch that will admit of it, rules for mental calculations or shortcuts to answers 
are added — Spectatok. 

Fifth Edition, improved and corrected, in 1 yol. 12mo. neatly bound. Price 2s. 6d- 
Recently Published, 

A Key to the Elements of Commercial 

Continuing the exposition of the principles of the Science, and of the more intricate 
portions of their application; exhibiting variations in the modes of performing 
arithmetical operations; and conveying still further information respecting 
those commercial regulations, by which the pupU must hereafter be guided 
in his Commercial calculations. By W. Tate. 

Neatly bound. Price 3s. &d. 

Just Published, 

Tate's Counting-House Guide to the Higher 
Branches of Calculations. 

Part the First. 

Forming an Appendix to the Elements of Commercial Arithmetic. By "W. Tate. 
A new and enlaa-ged Edition, in 1 vol. 12mo. bound in cloth, 4s. 

Tate's Gounting-Eouse Guide to the Higher 
Branches of Calculations. 

Fart the Second. 

Forming a Supplement and Key to the new and enlarged Edition of the Appen- 
dix to the Elements of Commercial Aiithmetic By W. Tate. 
In 1 vol. 12mo. cloth, bound in cloth, 6s. 
The two Parts, bound in one, 9s. 6d. 

n?*': '■'«•" l""' spared no pains to n>mlsh himself with the hestpracUcal data. The Ronil Mint, the Bank 
ot lungland, Lloyd s, the Stock Exchange, e£ well as the leading Mercantile Establishments, have been had j 
recourse to. The wk may lie safely refcft cd to, as a standard authority on the -various matters treated 1 
upon, — JuoRKiifQ Post, 


Schonberg's Chain Eule. 

A Manual of brief Commercial Aiithmetic, being an easy, simple, and efficient 
aiixiliary in the working of difficult and complicated Problems; applied to 
Proportion, simple and compound, direct and Inverse ; Discount ; Barter ; Interest, 
simple or compound ; Profit and Loss; Fractional Numbers; Exchange^ Tare, 
&c. Por the use of Schools, Counting-houses, and Self- Tuition, 
By Charles LO01S Sohonbebg. 

The Chaiu-Rule Is a simple, easy, antt clever system of arithmetical computation, only requiring to he 
kDown to be generally adopted, to the total exclusion of Ready Recltoners and the Rule of Thumb. Thereis 
a fascination in the very arrangement of the figures; in fact, it is an amusing as well as a most useful study 
and we strongly recommend the Chaln-Rule as arranged and applied by Mr. Sch'inberg. — LIT. Gaz. 

Pourth Edition Neatly bound in cloth, price 1 s. 6d. 

The Story without an End. 

The Story without an End. Prom the German of P. G. Carote, by Mrs.- AustiiI. 

This is a delightful fairy tale j we are all indebted to Mrs. Austin for one literary worit or another, but 
our children's children will thank her for this. The book altogether is a literary gem.— ATHEMiEUM. 

Appropriately embellished with 13 Wood Engravings, in the first style of the art, 
from the pencil of Harvey, price 2s. 6d., neatly bound in -cloth; or in 
watered silk, gilt edges, 4s, 

The Author's Guide. 

A Guide to Authors; showing how to correct the press, according to the mode 
adopted and understood by Printers. Price 6d, 

New English Grammar. 

An Elementai-y English Grammar, upon an entirely new principle, especially adapt- 
ed by its simplieity and its numerous exercises, for the junior classes in schools, 
for private tution, 01: for self-instruction. 

By W. H. PiNNOCK, B. C. L. 
New Edition. Price Is. bound in cloth. 

Pinnock's Grammar as issuedinto the world by Effingham Wilson, is the best and, clearest that has ever 
appeared, and ought at once to supersede every other book of its class — United Sbhtice Maoazise. 

History in Rhymes. 

Rhymes for YouthM Historians: designed to assist the Memory in retaining the 
most important Events in the History of England, etc. 

How many are there of the commonaffairs of hnman life, which have been taught in eaily years by the 
helDOfrhymef and have been like nails fastened In a sure place. » • • It isfrom this principle that moral 
Ss have bSn cast into a poeUc mould from all antiquity.-UR. Watt's Imp»oyeme»i ou the Mind. 

You must not lau-h at this, for chronologists do not pique themselves on their poetry ; they make use of 
numbers and rhymes merely as assistants to memory, being so easily learned — MRS. Chapone. 

Sixth Edition, brought doivn to the Reign of Queen Victoria, with 37 Portraits of 
Sovereigns, price Is. sewed, or neatly bound in cloth Is. 6d. 

miss Iselin's Poems. 

My Dream Book: Poems. By Sophia Iselin. Price 3s. 6d. in cloth, or 5s. in 
silk, -with gut edges. 

Instinct and Reason definitively Separated, 

And consequently including an Answer to " The Vexata Qusestio of Brute 
Reasoning," -which has so long perplexed the ablest writers on that important 
point. By Gokdonius. 

An able little treatise on the dlsttoction between the reason of man and the instinct of the lower 
animals MoitKJNG Post. 

In 18mo., price Is. 6d., in cloth. 



Which obviates entirely all necessity for leaving England to acquire the 
Parisian Accent. 

New French School by M. Le Page. 

" The sale of manv thousands, and the almost universal adoption of these clever little Books, by Mons. LB 
PAGE, sufficiently prove the public approbation of his plan of teaching French, which is in accordance with 
the natural operation of a child learning its native lan^age." 

The French School— Part I. 

L'ECHO DB PARIS; being a selection of PamUiar Phrases which a person 
would hear daily if living in Prance. With a Vocabulary of the Words and 

Mons. Le Pace's excellent work has, we are happy to perceivej run through several editions with all the 
celerity it deserved. His book is decidedly the best we have seen for aiding the instruction of Bnglish children 
in the rudiments of the French language ; inasmuch as it approaches nearest to that best of all methods, fami- 
liar conversation. — MoaNING POST. 

Nineteenth Edition, with Additions, and numerous Woodcuts. 
In 12mo. neatly bound in cloth, price 4s. 

The French School.— Part II. 

for the Learner of the Prench Language, calculated to enable him, by means 
of practice, to express himself fluently on the ordinary Topics of Life. With 
Notes. Eighth Edition, improved. 

12mo. neatly bound in cloth, price reduced to 3s. 

Mons. Le Page's Elementary works are already well known and highly appreciated, no books are better 
adapted to give the pupil a complete command of words and phrases, and a correct knowledge of the language, 
the arrangement is natural and Judicious. — Atlas. 

The French School.— Part III. 

THE LAST STEP TO PRENCH; or the Piinciples of French Grammar dis- 
played in a series of Short Lessons, each of which is followed by Questions 
and Exercises : with the Versification. 

Seventh Edition. 12mo. neatly bound in cloth, price reduced to 3s. 
The Theee Pasts bound in One VonraiE, price reduced to 9s. 

M. Le Page's tabulation of the verbs is as complete as it is good : his syntax is lucid and scholarlike, and 
his Exercises are well graduated, and likely to exercise the student's mind with his mcmoiy. — Gent's Mag. 
To schools and private teachers these volumes must be invaluable.— MONTHLy REVIE'W. 

*»* Mons. Le Page, encouraged by a liberal pubhc, has. also published for the 
use of Junior Classes 

The French Master for the Nursery: 

lasy Lessons in Fi-encb for Young Beginners. New and Improved Edition> 

Or Easy 

with additions, 

Royal 18mo. neatly bound; price reduced to 3s. 

Le Petit Causeur; 

Or, First Chattorings in Fi'ench, being 


By Mons. LE PAGE, author of "L'Echo de Paris," &c 

The key gives the correct translation of the French, thereby showing which is the 

proper expression for every topic of life. 

New and improved Edition. Price Is. 6d. 


Mons. Le Page's French Prompter : 

HANDBOOK FOE TRAVELLING on the Continent and Students in 
Fbenoh. a complete Manual of Conversation, arranged in Alphabetical order, 
so as to obviate ail difficulty of reference, each EngHsh word is followed by the 
phrases and idiomatic French in constant use, forming a perfect English and 
French dictionary, and a sure Hand-Book of Conversation, as it gives at each 
word all the phrases relating to it which are heard daily in polite families. 
Third Edition. In a neat Pocket Volume, pp. 380, price 5s. 

Petit Musee de Litterature Francaise. 

ELEGANT EXTRACTS from the most Eminent "Writers of Fi-ance,in Prose and 
Verse; with chronological and critical Notices of French Literature, from the 
14th to the 19th Centuries. 

By M. Le Page, Author of "L'Echo de Paris," &c. 

The selections have been carefully made, and show at once the style and the power of the writer. Wc 
strongly recommend the ' Petit Mus.!-e ' to all those desinou^ of becoming acquainted with the literature of 
France.— Abcus. 

In One Volume, 12nio., handsomely bound, price 5s. 6rf. 
This Work is kept in Elegant Binding, suitable for Presents, at 85. %d. 

Ready Guide to French Composition. 

FRENC-x GRAMMAR BY EXAMPLES; giving Models as Leading Strings 
throughout Accidence and Syntax; and presenting a Comparative View of 
tli'e Eiigliaii and French Idioms in their principal Differences. 

By MoNS. Le Page. Professor of the French Language, Author of " L'Echo de 
Paris," " The French Prompter," &c. 

We should not think of describing an obj ect to make it known, when we can show it at once. Why should 
we thi ftk ot teaching by precepts and rules when a model can he set forth? 

Tlil«wol* will be found a ready Guide lo French composition ; each model in the accidence is followed 
by questions and e\ercise6, the object of which is to bring the young learner to shape a rule himtelf and prac- 
tise It. We can conscientiously recommend it lo general adoption.— SUNDAY TIMES. 

Second Edition. In 12mo., neatly bound in cloth, price 4s. 

Cherville's First Step to French; 

Indispensable to, and in harmony with, aU French Grammars; being a collection of 
Progressive Familiar Conversations, in French and in EngUsh, showing a 
parallel between the Pronunciation, Etymology, Accidence, and Idioms of the 
Parts of Speech in both Languages, with Grammatical Observations on a New 
Plan. By F. M, Db Chertille. 

Nbw and Imcroved Edition, with Additions, 12mo., 3s. cloth. 

M. de Cherville's method of teaching interferes with no existing grammar, but is applicable to any. The 
conversations are written in a familiar style (very easy at first, and advancing with the progress of the stu- 
dent!, in which no word is isolated, and thus the rules of grammar are made clear;— one page is French the 
opposite English, thus showing a parallel between the pronunciation, etymology, accidence, and idioms of 
both languages.— MOKNING Post. 

A narrative of the Treatment Experienced 

by a Gentleman; during a state of Mental 

Derangement ; 

Designed to explain the causes and the nature of Insanity, and to expose the injudi- 
cious conduct pursued towards many unfortunate sufferers under that calamity. 
By John Percivai,, Esq. 
In 1 vol. 8vo., 8s.; ditto vol. 2, 10s. dd. 


Consumption Curable. 

Consumption of the Lungs and Asthma an-ested and cm-ed in the majority of cases, 

by Inhalation and other rational means. By Daniel Carr, M.IJ. 

In one volume, 12mo., price 3s. 6d., bound in cloth. 

The Importance of Punctuality enforced, 

" Xime and Xi<1e wait for no mmi," 

With an Emblematical Border on wood. For the use of Counting-hodses, 
Warehouses, Shops, &c. Price 6d. 

Composition and Punctuation 

Familiarly explained, for those who have neglected the study of Grammar; and 
also find information ealculated to facilitate their progress in the understand- 
ing pf the Language. By Justin Buenan. 

Sixth Edition, considerably augmented, price 2s. 6d. hound in cloth. 

We have read this little book with much satisfaction, something of the kind has been long wanted and 
the want is now very ingtniously supplied, * My object, says the author. • is to instruct those who know how 
to read and wnte, but who are unacquainted with grammar. I propose strange as it may appear, to show 
sucti persons how they may compose sentences of which they may not, at least, be ashamed, and how they 
may ejtpressmeanmginielligibly, without exciting a laugh at their expense.' ThU object Mr. Brenan has 
attam«l m a simple and agreeable maimer; and we, therefore, confidentlj recommend his hook to thast whose 
early education has been neglected, and who are now afraid to enter upon all the difficulUes of erammar. We 
shall ourselves present copies of it to several mechanics and others, in whose progress we take ao interest.- 
iDiKBURGH Literary Journal. 

Moschzisker's New Guide to the German 

A Guide to the German Language; or Manual for the Acquirement of a Gram- 
matical and Conversational Knowledge of German, ore tiie admirable plan of 
M. Le Page's " L'Echo de Paris:' By F. A. Moschzisker, St. PhL of the 
Umversity of Leipzig; Author of " The Guide to German Literature." ' 
This day, neatly cloth-lettered, price Is. 

Tuck's Map of the Railways ; 

Distinguishing the Lines for Traffic, the Lines In course of Construction, and the 
Lmes projected, their Tei-mini, Length, Capital, &c.; With Tables op Re- 
ference. Showing the Lines leased and amalgamated; the whole forming 
The Most Complete Map ever published. 

New Edition, Price 5s., mounted on canvass, bound, cloth. 

Howitt's Priestcraft. 

New and Improved Edition, of the Popular History of Priestcraft, in all Ages and 
Nations, with lai-ge Additions. By William Howitt. 
Eighth Edition, l2mo., cloth. Price 5s. 

Hampden's Aristocracy. 

The Aristocracy of England; a Histoiy for tlie People. By John Hampden 
J UN. Second Edition, price 5s., hound in cloth. ' 

C noMWELr,. WHiat, then, is the great root of all our firievances ? 
raenl"' '° '^"«">«™«J ' 0'™ -" 'h<^l"- t">o histotj. and ,o» u-riddle thcsectel of every national embarrass- 

De Stain's Phonography. 

Phonography; or Writing of Sounds, divided into Two Pai-ts, viz., Logography, or 
Universal Writing of Speech; and Musicography, or Symbolical WriS of 

s.:siKf Ai:°'-"'""^ ^°^- '^-•^- ^^ ^- ^ - STrNs, GiSe« 

Second Edition, in 1 vol. 8vo., 10s. cloth. 


Unreformed Abuses in Church and State ; 

With a preliminary Tractate on the CONTINENTAL KEVOLUTIONS. By 
John Wade, Author of " History and Political Philosophy of the Productive 
Classes," etc. 

Mr. Wade has produced a vade-mecum— a complete hand-boolc— of the corruption^ extravagance, and 
iacompetence that beset this nat!on.-^THB MORNIira ^DVBRIISEB. 

(300 pp.) 2s. 6d., or Post-free, to any part of the kingdom, on receipt of 36 

Queen's Heads. 

Dr. Yeoman on Consumption and Diseases of 
the Chest. 

Symptoms, and Rational Treatment. By T. H. Yeoman, M.D. 

Also, by the same Author, 

CONSUMPTION OF THE LUNGS. The Causes, Symptoms, and Eational 
Treatment, with the Means of Prevention. 

We most cordially recommend these works to the heads of families.— Bell's Weekly Messenger. 

Price 2s. each ; or. Post free on receipt of 30 Queen's Heads. 

Wilson's Description of the New Royal 

Including an Historical Sketch of the former Edifices; and a brief Memoir of Sir 
THOMAS GRESHAM, Knt. Founder of the original Burse in the reign 
of Queen Elizabeth. In 1 vol. 12mo. with 18 Embellishments, in cloth, 2s. 6rf 

" We are glad to welcome this Publisher hack to his old place of business. His house 
has issued many valuable commercial works. His first publication in his new establishment 
is botli well-timed and well calculated to secui'e public favour." — Beitannia. 

The Mahogany Tree ; 

Its botanical characters, qualities, and uses, with practical instructions for selecting 
and cutting it in the West Indies and Central America, with notices of the 
projected inter-oceanic communications of Panama, Nicaragua, and Tehuan- 
tepec, in relation to their productions, and the supply of fine timber for ship- 
building and all other purposes. 

This work contains much valuable information, which only persons connected with the trade can supply. — 

IMce 5s., with a Map and Illustrations. 

A Complete Gazetteer of the Australian 


Containing an Account of all the Mines, Elvers, and Bays, with Height of all the 
Mountains, and Number of Population, and other Statistics— Correct Views of 
Sydney and other Towns — A List of every Estate and Squatters' Stations, 
with the Proprietor's Name, and full Information concerning every Important 
Spot where Gold has recently been discovered. 

By "W. H. "Wells, Surveyor, Sydney. 
In One Volume, 8vo., with Numerous Maps and Plates, price £l. Is. 

Contains numerous Maps and Plates — its topographical references are much more full and precise than 
might have been expected. The work will prove very serviceable for the numerous persons interested in 
that region.— The Times. 


Pearce's Poems. 

POEMS. Bt a Prisoner in Bethlehem, Edited by John Perceval, Esq., and 
published for the benefit of the Author. 

We hope we have said enough of our author's verses to induce our readers to purchase the hook. It ahounds 
TTith evidences of good feeiing — The Examinee. 

In foolscap, cloth elegant, price 3s. 

The London Distance Map. 

The Cikcuiteer, a Distance Map of London, to serve as a guide for ascertaining 
Cab Pares, Porterage, etc., etc., with explanations in English, Prench, and 
Geelian. Price 2s. 6d. coloured, or Is. 6d. plain. 

Recollections of Military Service 

In 1813, 1814, and 1815, through Germany, Holland, Belgium, and Prance; in- 
cluding some details of the battles of Quatre Bras and Waterloo. By 
Thomas Morris, ex Sergeant of the 73rd Regiment of Poot, 
Pourth Edition, 18mo. Price 2.?. 6rf., cloth. 

Assurance and Annuity Tables, 

According to the Carlisle rate of mortality, at three per cent. By Peter Gray, 
P.E.A.S., A.I.A., Author of " Tables and Pormulee for the computation of 
Life Contingencies. Henry Ambrose Smith, P.I.A., and William Orchard, 
F.I. A., Author of " Single and Annual Assurance Premiums at Eight Kates of 
Interest." These tables afford the means of readily solving any problem in which 
either one or two lives are concerned. The single life values tabulated are those 
of the annuities and the single and annual assurance premiums, for every age ; 
and the two life values are those of the single and annual survivorship assurance 
premiums, for every possible combination of two ages. The single premiums 
for every other kind of assurance on two Uves, and the annual premiums for an 
assurance on their joint continuance, are hence deducible by the mere addition 
or substraction of tabulated values ; while, by the aid of a new auxiliaiy table, 
we pass at once, with the utmost facility, from any assurance value to its 
corresponding annuity value, the latter being in all cases true, within narrow 
limits, to four decimal places. The work comprises also the requisite auxiliaiy 
tables, for the formation of the values of temporary and deferred benefits. 
Royal 8vo. Price 10s. 6d., cloth. 

New and Improved Edition op 

Home Truths for Home Peace. 

A practical inquiiy into what chiefly mars or makes the comfort of domestic life. 
Especially addressed to young housewifes. 12mo., neatly bound in gilt cloth. 
Price Ss. 6rf. 

A workwhlch Isralciilated toafToTd an amovint of good for ■which young men and maideiw will ever 
be gratelbl."— Bell;s Weekly Messekger. 

This volume dl.'cuises, in deUil, truths Uktly to contribute to the judicious government of home, We 
have rarely met with a work that is better calculated to nlve rise to a cheerftjl and healthy moral tone in 
many a family..— Observer. 


Depot for Commercial Stationery and Account Books of the best quality.